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Bus operators: Government insincere on night travel

24 March 2014, 23:08 William Korir

Nairobi - Bus operators have blamed the government of being insincere in their resolve to defend the controversial ban on night travel.

Bus operators were back in court Monday seeking to force the government to allow night travel for Public Service Vehicles.

Bus operators want the suspension on the night travel to be completely removed as there is no actual regulation for the government to insist on its enforcement.

They alleged that the night travel regulation was secretly revoked by the Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau through a notice in the Special Gazette without involving their participation or informing court while being aware of the impending case challenging the said regulation.

The Kenya Country Bus owners Association, Mbukinya Bus Services, Crown Bus Service, Kampala Coaches, Traticom Enterprises, Ugwe Bus Services, Trisha Collections, Panther Travels and Neno Courier Services further alleged that Eng Kamau was aware that the regulation on night travel was illegal as it had not been passed in parliament and hence the manner in which that law was revoked while taking full advantage of the court’s decision as well as the bus operators.

“I believe if there was any compliance with the Eng. Kamau he would have involved Parliament and Senate in advising us immediately and would have tabled such evidence before court,” said Country bus owners Association Chairman Paul Muthumbi.

In a bitter sweet judgment delivered by Justice George Odunga on March 14, he had ruled that the night travel regulation should be well formulated by the Transport Cabinet Secretary and the national Transport and Safety Authority and evidence tabled in court within 60 days.

They blame their woes to Eng Kamau for making and publishing the revocation notice on March 10 and 11 respectively three days prior to the ruling and pretending thereafter that it was still in force for passengers’ safety.

The bus operators alleged that there was no need to revoke the regulation and then have it suspended whilst there was a case pending and without informing the public and most specifically them.

They claim that Eng. Kamau has adamantly declined to permit them to operate at night despite the fact that their TLB licenses were declared valid.

As a result they also claim that this has caused them suffering and losses considering the fact that they had taken loans to set off their businesses.

“We discovered on Thursday that Eng Kamau rendered the revocation notice before the ruling, he knew indeed he had removed this new night travel regulation from realm of legality, the act is non-ethical and hypocritical to purport to enforce that which is non-existent,” said their lawyer Mr Harrison Kinyanjui.

NTSA which is the mother factory of the challenged regulation only asked for more time to respond to the suit.

However, High Court judge Odunga who insisted on hearing the case at the time, questioned on the existence of the new regulation on the night travel.

“Does that law exist? If it does that is what should be discussed, the Transport Cabinet Secretary cannot say he is acting in pursuant with my ruling,” said the judge.

He allowed the case which had been filed urgently terming issues raised as of serious and grave concern.

He also ordered that Eng. Kamau, the Principal Secretary of State department of Transport, NTSA, the Inspector General of Police, the Traffic Commandant and the Attorney General to ensure that they are present in court for the hearing on March 26.


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