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Directive will cause dents in motorists' pockets

By By Tony Ngare | Oct 19th 2014 | 3 min read

Nairobi; Kenya: Any economist will tell you that one of the big ingredients of contributing to national growth and development is consumption.

One area that has really done well in the last couple of years is the consumption of motor vehicles.

More so the area of private cars. There has been huge demand for private vehicles, especially the affordable reconditioned ones from the East. It is not possible to count the people who have bought cars or upgraded to  newer ones in the last five years.

Now it appears that this huge number has attracted the eye of National Transport and Safety Authority.

As I have previously indicated, it appears that this new government agency is working too hard to get noticed.

As one would imagine, after exploring all manner of ways of being relevant, the agency has settled on one of the most ludicrous initiatives — the annual inspection of private motor vehicles more than four years old.

It appears as if NTSA does not think much of the eight-year rule on vehicle importation.

If private motorists have been causing deaths on the road, NTSA should give the public the statistics which would then justify the drastic action of having virtually all private cars subjected to an annual harassment which owners have to pay for, as if adding insult to injury.

In my opinion, the NTSA is mistaken in planning to inspect private vehicles annually unless this inspection is just an income generating venture for the Exchequer.

The new directive — that all vehicles more than four years old have to undergo mandatory annual inspections — will make private car owners line up with owners of matatus, lorries and other commercial vehicles which are required by law to undergo the same.

Many motorists believe that the many traffic amendments are being done in haste without due process and requisite public debates and stakeholder input.

The last time I checked, this Constitution upholds public participation.

The agency announced that it would appoint private firms to carry out the inspection on its behalf. That, my lawyer pals says, is suspect.

“Privatisation of government functions makes for a curious reading.” I cannot agree more.

For me, I would say it makes a curious ride as private companies will definitely take advantage to make profits, which is detrimental to motorists.

Besides that, who knows the quality of service to be delivered by the so-called private firms? Won’t the sleaze that is grossly associated with the Inspectorate of Motor Vehicles find its way into the private firms?

The percentage of private vehicles that get involved in accidents is less than three per cent, and that makes them one of the safest.

This is because private car owners maintain their vehicles well. 

The government should remove the log in its eye first by keeping roads in good condition. After doing this, they can present the matter for debate.

As for now, this rule is uncalled for. Inspection of private cars is nothing but a scheme to fleece motorists.


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