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Let's back State on matatu sector rules

By Peter Churchill Ogutu | January 26th 2016

The public should support the Government in the implementation of a new policy to create a more environment-friendly transport system.

The matatu business plays a crucial role in the economy. The over 32,000 registered matatus in the country employ a significant number of Kenyans, especially youth.

The global focus on green economies requires business operations that promote socially acceptable standards that are all inclusive without compromising environmental values. Such standards include low carbon emissions, minimum noise, non-offensive writings etc.

The transport industry is one of the sectors of the economy that contributes to emissions of greenhouse gasses, responsible for the global climate change.

Reduction of these gases in the industry is one the key areas of focus in Kenya's climate change policy documents. The benefits for the industry are thus numerous.

If the new policy has to be effectively implemented, the public and the police need to work together for the benefit of the sector. Moreover, the national and county should initiate training programmes for the matatu operators on the need to operate within the law.

In 2003, the Government implemented a policy with the aim of bringing sanity to the matatu industry. The then known "Michuki Rules", however, rattled several players in the industry the wrong way.

But the co-operation received from the public and traffic police officers ensured the rules were effectively implemented.

I must laud the efforts of the late Minister John Michuki and the public. Although it was painful for commuters, the efforts and commitment of the public including trekking long distances to workplaces bore fruit.

As a key player, the Matatu Owners Association should be a key actor in policy changes.

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