NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – The Matatu Owners Association has endorsed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, saying he has an impeccable record that has led to the growth of the industry.
The association’s chairperson Simon Kimutai says the Jubilee Administration has provided an enabling environment for the industry to thrive.
“We are here to say we will vote for Uhuru but we will continue giving services to all Kenyans,” he said during a briefing to journalists.
“Ours will be to carry two messages, one for peace and vote for Uhuru again. We have several reasons including the improved infrastructure.”
To ensure there is a high turnout of voters in the country, he says the association members shall provide free transport to the aged and those who are unwell.
This comes less than two weeks to the General Election, with the association urging Kenyans to exercise their democratic right peacefully.
Earlier, the chairperson met with the President at State House, where they urged the government to reform the traffic police department, in a bid to curb corruption as a move to lower transport costs.
During the meeting, President Kenyatta said his administration is determined to streamline the transport sector to stop the increase of fare resulting from matatu operators having to pay bribes.
“I want to assure you that we are going to reorganise the traffic department in order to make it more accountable to users,” President Kenyatta told stakeholders in the matatu industry.
“We must get rid of the illegal collection of money by traffic police officers because that is part of what makes it expensive to travel,” the President added.
At the meeting that was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto, the President asked the matatu owners and operators to be disciplined as the Government moves to ensure integrity in the transport sector.
The Head of State also spoke about his administration’s focus on improving infrastructure as a way of lowering transport costs and lifting the lives of Kenyans, saying criticism from the opposition will not distract him from acquiring loans for the construction of roads.
“For instance, recently we were in Wundanyi (Taita Taveta) where one matatu operator thanked us for improving the road because now they can make two to three trips to Voi instead of one per day. Also, the transport cost has gone down from Sh200 to 100,” President Kenyatta said.
He urged stakeholders in the transport industry to invest in the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) which the Government is set to roll out next year to decongest the city.
“We do not want foreigners to dominate the BRT. We want you to own and operate it,” President Kenyatta told the matatu owners and operators.