NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – The government will reform the traffic police department to curb corruption as a move to lower transport costs, President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured.
President Kenyatta said his administration is determined to streamline the transport sector to stop the increase of fares 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 Thursday during a meeting at State House, Nairobi. The stakeholders were drawn from all parts of the country.
“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 on 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.
The President also asked them to select people who will represent them at different boards of transport affiliated parastatals so that their contribution and concerns can be factored in Government decisions.
He urged them to mobilise support for Jubilee so that their partnership can continue to deliver benefits for Kenyans as it has done in the last four-and-a-half years.
Deputy President Ruto thanked the stakeholders in the transport industry for endorsing the Jubilee team.
He also commended them for ensuring that order is restored in the matatu industry.
Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai thanked the government for implementing infrastructure projects that have boosted the industry’s operation and assured of his organisation’s support for Jubilee.