'Boda bodas' must follow law by May 1 — CS Matiang'i

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi engages in dialogue with Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi during his visit to Meru County on March 22, 2019.[Olivia Murithi, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has ruled out extending the deadline for boda bodas to adhere to safety regulations.

The deadline for compliance with the requirements is May 1.

Speaking in Meru during a visit, Dr Matiang'i ordered police to immediately clamp down on rogue operators once the deadline expires.

“Go and tell your supporters that we shall embark on the crackdown when the deadline expires and pick them one by one without mercy,” the CS told the Meru politicians.

Describing the boda boda menace as a ticking time bomb, the CS said the lawlessness by the motorcycle operators will hurt the country if action was not taken immediately.

“We made a swoop on four drug dealers in Nairobi. We discovered that between them, they own an average of seven motorcycles,” said Matiang'i.

“That is 28 motorcycles for drug running in the city.” The Cabinet secretary was reacting to an appeal by Meru leaders, specifically MCAs, to delay the impending crackdown on boda bodas. 

But Dr Matiang’i said traffic police were under instructions to relax the rules on operators of taxis offering Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV) operations until parliament amended the Traffic Act.

According to the CS, the operators of the taxis with capacity of under seven passengers had been allowed to operate on feeder roads after an agreement between parliamentarians and his ministry subject to their acquiring the requisite NTSA licenses.

“We agreed that the operators of those vehicles mostly Toyota Sienta and Probox were offering a crucial service in the grassroots but that they should not venture into highways,” said the CS.

Asking the traffic department to be reasonable to stem the growing protests by operators and politicians, the CS insisted the agreement barring overloading and requiring NTSA licences should be respected to the letter.