Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai is calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to order a lifestyle audit on traffic police officers in the country. Kimutai said that traffic officers had turned the country roads into corruption highways and the government must end the vice.
According to MOA statistics, traffic police officers extort on a daily basis at least Sh40M from the country’s 80,000 Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).
“There is so much rot within the traffic police departments. The traffic police officers often flag down vehicles not to enforce the law but to collect bribes,” he said. He added that the country should adopt best practices in the world by removing static traffic police road blocks. “We don’t need static traffic police officers whose work is to flag down vehicles to only demand for bribes. What the country requires is simple traffic patrols on the Kenyan roads,” said Kimutai. Speaking during the opening of South Rift luxury shuttle offices in the Kericho town, the MOA chairman at the same time warned passengers to brace themselves for hiked fares due to 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel.
“Come September 1st when the fuel pumps will have to be adjusted upwards, the unfortunate cost will have to be passed down to the passengers. We are in business and any cost will have to be transferred to the passengers,” he said. To address the skyrocketing fuel prices, Kimutai asked the government to consider selling its oil finds from Turkana County in the local market. “Once the oil is refined, we hope that it will not be exported but consumed locally and pass the saving to the local motorists,” he said.
Kimutai also called for a crackdown on owners of saloon vehicles who have encroached into Matatu business. “The business is being conducted in broad daylight since the owners of the wish, Probox and other saloon vehicles have even set up areas in major town where they pick and drop passages,” he said. The MOA chairman cautioned travelers against boarding such vehicles since they are not insured to operate as Public Service Vehicles (PSV). “In case of an accident, an accident victim may not be compensated by the insurance company for injuries or death,” he said.