Passengers stranded as matatus fear NTSA crackdown

Following the recent rules that were proposed by the National Transport  and Safety Authority (NTSA), many Kibera matatu operators have today ignored work fearing a crackdown by NTSA.


Passengers at a Kibera matatu stage today morning. Many of them were stranded as matatus were not operating fearing a crackdown from NTSA after they failed to follow the given rules. [Dennis Chacha/]

The rule which states that drivers above 35 years should drive buses, 25 years and above drivers to drive matatus, 21 years and above to drive motor bikes has left matatu drivers paralysed as they fear being arrested for not following the rules.

This comes after an incident  where Kibera matatu and motor-bicycles operators last week doubted whether the newly proposed rules will reduce accidents on roads. Today, NTSA is expected to carry out a crackdown on matatus with decorations, writings and banners which are believed to be breaking the rules. Matatus with loud music that make passengers uncomfortable are also among those that will be confiscated.

“I had to stop going to work today since the new rules proposed will fall on me as a driver. For today I will be indoors till the crackdown is over. As matatu operators, we decorate vehicles to attract passengers. We will be forced to operate as NTSA wants nothing else,” said Michael Otengo, a matatu driver.

The matatus have inconvenienced a lot of Kibera residents this morning as they were left stranded.

”I woke up today knowing I would get a matatu in time to my workplace but unfortunately, the stage had very few matatus operating as some had gone hiding following the NTSA rules,” said Jane Onyango, a Kibera resident.