Matatu operators issue strike notice over NTSA “extortion” claims
Federation of Public Transport Operators has announced to down tool beginning March 16, 2022.
The operator claim that the compliance operation for road safety which started four weeks ago has seen the sector lose Ksh.500 million to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and Traffic police who coerce operators to give bribes.
The federation chairman Edwin Mukabanah castigated the ongoing audit by NTSA terming the manner of its performance as neither civil nor sensitive to socially disadvantaged travelers.
“We protest and condemn the manner in which NTSA and traffic police are executing this otherwise noble road safety compliance audit in the PSV transport sector, it is ill-timed given the political climate in the country. We abhor and detest this crackdown,” said Mukabanah.
Mukabanah termed the exercise as a money minTING scheme where NTSA and police forcefully demand bribes of between Ksh.5,000 and Ks.20,000 for insubstantial defects of vehicles on road.
He further added that the transport authority and traffic police officers have worsened the sector’s finances seeing that it is still recovering from the hard hit of Covid-19.
Mukabanah, who was in the company of Federation Secretary Dickson Mbugua and a host of operators, called on the national government to intervene and save the transport sector and give operators a window to comply with the road safety requirements.
“We demand the government to intervene in this matter and stop its officials from harassing and extorting money from our members forthwith,” said the federation chair.
The operators threatened to go on a go slow effective Wednesday if their demands are not met and withdraw their vehicles to ensure compliance is done justly and without coercion.