The citywide matatu crackdown that started on Sunday morning and left thousands of motorists stranded on Monday is just a rehearsal, Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru has said.
The traffic boss sounded the warning to matatu operators on Monday saying the ongoing crackdown is in readiness for the return of Michuki rules next week.
Mt Kimaru termed the crackdown as a move aimed at ensuring the safety of Kenyans who have been victims of reckless operations for a long time.
Speaking on Citizen TV, he warned matatu operators who have not met the set requirements to act appropriately or keep their vehicles at home
“There are crooks in Nairobi who have so many issues, they don’t follow rules, they don’t have uniforms unlike other saccos, if you won’t meet the requirements don’t take your vehicle to the road,” Mr. Kimaru said.
But the chairman of Motor Vehicle Transporters Association, Calvin Nyaure, differed with Kimaru’s remarks and blamed the police for the problems facing the transport sector.
According to Nyaore, traffic officers had turned the crackdown into a “business project”.
“The officers are trying to look for money from matatu owners, they have made it a business project,” Nyaure said.
His sentiments were echoed by the chairman of Matatu Owners Association Simon Kimutai who expressed his dissatisfaction with the crackdown that resulted in a Matatu strike on Monday.
“Justice Odunga suspended the Michuki rules, I wonder why they are still the talk of town,” Kimutai said.
“Why impound someone’s vehicle for three days and they have loans they’re paying?” he posed. “If there is a problem, which I can’t deny, the traffic department should be sensitive on how to address it.”
Mr. Kimutai said the transport sector is facing stiff competition from outsiders who are not licensed to carry passengers and the situation has made many operators to disregard traffic rules in the process.
“We have gotten into unhealthy competition, private vehicles are now transporting people from various destinations, such competitions make people engage in unfavorable competition police know this and are doing nothing about it,” he said.