NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1 – A nationwide matatu strike planned for Wednesday was called off following talks between the government and the Matatu Welfare Association (MWA).
The association’s chairman Dickson Mbugua told Capital FM News that the meeting with ministry officials resolved that the blanket ban imposed on SACCOs when individual drivers and conductors commit offences should be reversed.
Mbugua described it as unfair that a whole association would have to suffer due to the actions of individual drivers.
“The blanket suspension of the licenses of SACCOs having 500 vehicles due to the misconduct of the crew of one vehicle is unfair and not called for. You cannot have the vehicles of an organisation having 1,000 PSVs suspended as a result of just one. That is not how justice works,” he said.
He stated anyone who breaks the law will carry their own cross as they will be dealt with individually by both the government and their SACCO.
“We have talked with the Transport Principal Secretary and we have agreed that together with the government, we will punish any driver or conductor found breaking the law. We have also embarked on a two week sensitisation exercise to ensure that everyone is aware of the rules and regulations governing road use,” he stated.
The strike was called following the suspension of the license of Embassava SACCO which operates in Eastlands after one of its vehicles was involved in an accident which left two people dead.
According to the National Transport and Safety Authority, the Embassava bus driver was to blame for the road crash after failing to obey traffic lights at the junctions of Jogoo and Rabai Roads.
The ban created a transport crisis for commuters from most parts of Nairobi’s Eastlands since the affected SACCO has a large fleet of commuter vehicles.
According to MWA, the suspension was an abuse of their rights.
According to the NTSA, any transport operator who contravenes Public Service Vehicle (PSV) regulations will be suspended until they comply with all the conditions.
The authority said that after the crash, Embassava SACCO was asked to produce a formal response to an audit checklist and documentation of their operations.
The SACCO was found to have failed to comply with regulations, including failing to employ drivers.