The National Transport and Safety Authority has disclosed of plans to have all matatu drivers trained under the National Youth Service program. As part of the authority’s plan to instill professionalism in the sector, Sacco owners will also undergo a rigorous training at the Kenya School of Government on how to manage the businesses.
The new move as explained by the NTSA Director General Francis Meja is meant to weed out the tradition of having matatu ‘makangas’ being upgraded to conductors and later drivers. Meja said this is set to be achieved through the rolling out of driving curriculum which first targets school instructors and is on its final stages.
“We want to have a pool of properly trained drivers-from a reputable institution like NYS-where Public Service Vehicles can get their staff from,” said Meja. Meja said the biggest challenge in the sector is high dependence on law enforcers to instill discipline to motorists.
Matatu Owners Association led by the chair Simon Kimutai had pointed fingers of blame on the police and the authority saying they have failed in their mandate to prevent the surge in accidents.
Kimutai also argued that if matatu sector had a structured training institution like that of railway institute, the story would be different. “This is a highly informal sector and we are trying to formalize it.
People should be ready to obey the law because they stand to lose more if they are kicked out of business due to their own misdeed,” said Meja.
Meja said with the transfer of all their services to digital platform, soon they will need no physical presence of law enforcers to keep vigil on rogue motorists.
“Why do you need to stop a vehicle to check if it has a valid license when you can simply send a text?” posed Meja.