NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – The National Assembly Transport Committee has urged the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to take steps to curb rising cases of lawlessness on the country’s roads.
They cited footage showing a recklessly driven matatu ramming into a police vehicle during a chaotic incident in the centre of city on Sunday.
Committee Chairman David Pkosing (Pokot South) said the traffic department was treating the loss of 507 lives in the last two months casually.
He repeated his call for road carnage to be declared a national disaster as he made reference to the statistics submitted to the Committee by the Traffic Commandant.
“We want to reduce road carnage; we want to reduce people dying especially as we go towards December. It is critical that we engage now so that we are proactive so that we don’t wait until that number of Kenyans die, and that is when we wake up or the police wake up.”
“There is a total breakdown of the Traffic Police in Kenya and it has been demonstrated by the deaths which are before our table and what we saw yesterday that people can do whatever they want to do along our roads which is making our roads very dangerous,” Pkosing stated.
Buuri MP Mugambi Rindikiri demanded that Boinnet must submit evidence to the Committee to show how the service has handled the matter.
“We would like to be given concrete action that has been taken on the behaviour of matatus on Moi Avenue, which is less than a kilometre from the Central Police Station and less than an hour away from Vigilance House, the National Police Headquarters. There is no way you can tell us that a police were not aware,” Rindikiri said.
MPs Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), Johnson Naicca (Mumias West) and Dominic Kosgei (Sotik) voiced their dissatisfaction by the failure of the IG to attend Monday’s meeting while Kitutu Masaba MP Shadrack Mose said there is need to rethink the withdrawal of NTSA from the roads following a presidential directive.
“It is very unfortunate that a police vehicle can be hit deliberately. What happens to the other Kenyans? And when we call the IG here, he waters down our invitation… where are we going as a country,” Kosgei said as he pleaded with Committee to put more pressure on the authorities to crackdown on reckless drivers.
“This is according to me, very contemptuous of this Committee. We have actually left going to our constituencies because this is a matter of national importance and to be here without a communication from the IG, clearly leaves a lot to be desired,” Naicca said.
Mose added, “we believe he is supposed to be aware of the disconnect between the Traffic Commandant and operations at the constituency. He is supposed to have taken the first step in bridging the gap.”
The Committee was last week forced to prematurely adjourn its sitting with Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru and NTSA Director-General Francis Meja, after the latter claimed recent reorganization within the Service moved enforcement of traffic laws to the counties.