, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 – A major transport crisis was reported countrywide on Monday as police kicked off a major crackdown targeting non-compliant Public Service Vehicles (PSV) operators.
In the capital Nairobi, a few vehicles were on the road after most operators grounded their vehicles for fear of arrests ordered by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, who is implementing the famous Michuki rules, named after former Transport Minister the late John Michuki.
On routes like Embakasi, Syokimau, Mwiki and Ruiru and Umoja where trains operate, passengers were seen scrambling for space due to the shortage of matatus.
The rules, which includes vehicles having a yellow line, functioning seat belts and valid insurance certificates, were not being implemented strictly in what is blamed for the increased number of road accidents.
“We will not live like this, the rules must be obeyed and anyone who fails to comply must face the law,” Matiangi said.
In Mombasa, people have been forced to walk for kilometers to and from the coastal town due to a shortage of matatus.
Police officers, led by Regional Coordinator Bernard Leparmarai and Police County Commander Johnstone Ipara have mounted a road block at Nyali bridge.
Police were also impounding motorcycles which were ferrying passengers and arresting riders, saying most of them do not comply with the set rules and regulations.
A similar situation was reported in Nakuru, Kisii, Nyeri, Eldoret among other areas.
But the Matatu Welfare Association Chairman Dickson Mbugua has protested against the crackdown, saying there was no adequate consultations with key stakeholders.
Matatu drivers and conductors who spoke to Capital FM News said even vehicles which had complied were being impounded, and demanded to know what criteria was used.