Nairobi commuters stranded as matatu operators protest return of ‘Michuki rules’
Hundreds of commuters were Monday morning left stranded after public service vehicle operators in Nairobi’s Eastlands area continued with a strike, which began on Sunday, to protest the reintroduction of the ‘Michuki’ traffic rules.
For residents of Umoja, Dohnholm, Buru Buru, Kayole, and neighbouring areas that depend on the busy Jogoo Road to access the city centre, it was a day of disruption and delays.
Matatu operators made good their threat to keep off the roads as they protest the new crackdown meant to steamline the matatu sector and bring sanity back to the roads.
Most of the stranded commuters opted to use other means including boda bodas to access their destinations, with others having to pay the high fares charged by the few matatus in operation.
On Sunday, at least 63 matatus were impounded by police for flouting traffic rules and regulations, with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) remaining firm that the crackdown would intensify despite the inconvenience to commuters.
The runaway road carnage being witnessed in the country has forced the government to bring back the “Michuki rules” which appear to have been abandoned, causing the country to slide back to the rogue days.
“Therefore, effective Monday, 12th November 2018, any PSV vehicle, drivers, SACCOs/Transport companies, passengers and other relevant parties that fail to comply with the provisions of the NTSA Act and the Traffic Act will be firmly dealt with in accordance with the law,” said the government in a statement issued on October 25.
Before the said deadline, all public service vehicles (PSV) must be fitted with:-
(i) Speed limiters/governors.
(ii) Safety belts (seat belts).
(iii) Yellow continuous line.
At the same time, all PSV drivers and conductors are required to:-
(i) Wear uniforms and PSV badges as prescribed by law.
(ii) Prominently display their photos as prescribed by law.