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February 17, 2019

Matatu crews’ bad behaviour is deadly

Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai during a past press briefing. /FILE
Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai during a past press briefing. /FILE
Poor training of matatu drivers is the cause of motor accidents, the Matatu Owners Association chairman has said.
Simon Kimutai on Monday said government abandonment and sacco negligence is linked to poor road usage by PSVs. Kimutai said the state neglects the sector and only comes in during a national crisis.
“The government only shifts attention when there is a negative display in the public,” he said.
The chairman added that matatu drivers and touts are only out to make money and ignore traffic laws. “They need training on etiquette because bad behaviour is creeping back and causing deaths.” Kimutai urged the government to come up with better training curriculum to tame rogue matatu crews.
But Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua said saccos should not rely on the government regarding crew conduct. “Such matters should be emphasised within the saccos, which should control its members’ discipline.”
Mbugua added, “One cannot say they do not know speeding is against traffic laws. Does that require training?” The association will launch a training programme for road users at the end of the year.
The two officials condemned an accident in which four people were killed on Saturday in the city centre. The Latema Sacco vehicle ran over passengers waiting to board matatus near the Old Nation Roundabout.
The driver who escaped is yet to be arrested. Roads executive Mohamed Dagane said, “This is overall indiscipline in the matatu industry.”
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