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Matatu operators protest corruption in mobile courts

20 August 2014, 14:34 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - A cross section of matatu operators in Nyeri town have held protests over the ongoing traffic crackdown targeting Public Service Vehicles (PSV).

The crackdown, initiated by National Transport and Safety Authourity (NTSA) has netted many public vehicles, drivers and conductors.

NTSA is conducting the exercise in conjunction with traffic police officers, Judiciary, Kenya Revenue Authourity officers, Inspection officers and the prison department.

Peter Ndirangu, who is the chairman of Nyeri Matatu Owners Secretariat, complained that the officers were harassing the operators with some soliciting bribes.

He said instead of the mobile courts restoring law and order in the transport sector, they have enhanced corruption and other malpractices.

While addressing media at Nyeri town terminus during a protest, Ndirangu said the officers were looking for minor faults in order to get money from PSV vehicles.

“They are looking for very minor faults and fining extremely high because of a small mistake,” said Ndirangu, narrating that a driver was fined KES 40 000 after his vehicle’s break lights were found with defects.

He said they were opting to avoid plying routes where police were inspecting matatus for fear of harassment by the officers.

“Sometimes we opt to keep our vehicles out of the roads since their fines are hefty. We are reading malice in these mobile courts and the entire crackdown,” added Ndirangu.

There are about 30 matatu Saccos in Nyeri with over 5 000 vehicles.

Ndirangu urged the Government to provide favorable business environment noting that the PSV industry has created jobs for many young men.

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