Strike Called Off, Safe Matatus Return Back The Road

Kenya’s Matatu operators yesterday called off their devastating strike that saw hundreds of thousands of people travel by foot, boda-bodas and bicycles.

The Public Service Vehicle operators also promised to get roadworthy vehicles back on the road and serve the public as soon as possible.

The Federation of Public Transport Operators also apologised yesterday o commuters and pledged to comply with the rules of the road and the rule of law.

Yesterday PSV operators staged a countrywide strike in response to the implementation of the strict Michuki Rules on road safety.

Following a meeting at Harambee House convened by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and his Transport counterpart Esther Koimett, the transporters regretted the crisis they had triggered.

“I apologise to our passengers and we will be back on the road,” federation spokesman Edwin Mukabana said.

“We request our people who have complied [with Michuki Rules] to return their vehicles to the road. We will bring all issues to the table for negotiations.”

Kibicho told reporters transporters had agreed to comply with the tough rules.

“I assured them we’re not just focussing on matatus, but the whole public transport sector. They agreed to support the government,” he said.

“We are also committed in the next couple of days to clean stages of illegal cartels in the industry,” Kibicho said.

The federation urged the government to deal with Probox ‘taxis’ that illegally ferry passengers. Kibicho said they would be eliminated. He announced that a transport consultative forum will be formed by end of November to review progress in achieving road safety and pursue fresh ways of managing public transport.

Meanwhile, Health CS Sicily Kariuki yesterday said 10 per cent of non-communicable disease patients admitted to hospital has suffered road accidents that can be avoided.

She said she supports enforce enforcement of the Michuki Rules.

The CS spoke in Nyeri at the launch of Universal Health Care registration.

“It’s said 10 per cent of people admitted to any hospital today is either because of boda-bodas or carelessness on the road. These can be avoided,” Kariuki said.

The CS said the money used to treat accident injuries can be used to manage diseases like cancer and diabetes.

She called on citizens to help the government restore order on roads by channelling information to the relevant authorities who can get unsafe vehicles off the road, arrest reckless drivers and errant police.

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