Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai has called for the arrest and prosecution of conductors who are filling up matatus despite an order barring them from doing so.
Due to Coronavirus, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and Transport CS James Macharia announced a number of changes in the transport sector and PSVs were ordered to limit the number of passengers.
After a local media station showed a matatu plying the Ngumo route full of passengers, Kimutai said this was very irresponsible and legal action should be taken against all parties involved.
“I am surprised that passengers who know there should be social distancing are subjecting themselves to a full matatu.
“The passengers, conductor & driver should be prosecuted for going against given directives,” he said,
Adding: “We have preached to matatu operators more than preachers in church. We have given them enough information. Conductors who fill up matatus should be suspended and not allowed to work in public transport.”
A spot-check in the CBD revealed that most passengers and matatu operators were not following the guidelines issued and handwashing was not adhered to at many of the bus stops.
Some conductors said at times they have to carry maximum capacity due to the high targets set by the matatu owners.
“It is not our wish to endanger lives. The problem is some of the targets we are given are almost unattainable.
“Owners should even take Sh2000 per day since that is what the matatu managed to bring that day,” said a conductor in the CBD.
Kimutai agreed with these sentiments saying such demands are not realistic.
“Owners of matatus are not giving targets at this time as that demand is not realistic. The matatu business is currently low; social distancing, stay at home order & curfew has worsened the industry,” he said.