Concern as matatus caught flat-footed in return to full capacity

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 00:00 | By
Mechanics readjust matatu seats following a Transport ministry directive to relax sitting restrictions in PSVs. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

Alvin Mwangi and Roy Lumbe

Government’s decision to allow Public Service Vehicles (PSV) to carry full capacity appears to have caught the sector flat-footed, as most of them are yet to comply with Covid-19 protocols.

 A spot-check by People Daily yesterday revealed that most PSVs operating within the CBD were not observing the regulations.

 For instance, most matatus did not have sanitisers, others did not have thermo guns to test temperature, the crews were not wearing the three-ply masks as agreed while in other cases the PSVs were carrying excess passengers. 

Mike Maina, a driver plies Jogoo Road with Kubamba Sacco said they are yet to be equipped with Covid-19 prevention kits.

 However, Haron Njogu, a driver with ROG Sacco welcomed the move, saying it was timely, as the sector has been negatively affected.

However, commuters who spoke to People Daily expressed mixed reactions over the directive.

While some welcomed the move, saying it will save the sector from collapsing, others raised concerns that this will lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases, especially at this time when the country is battling the deadly Delta Virus.

Their sentiments came even as the Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) also hailed the decision, saying it will revitalise the economy, which had stagnated due to the Corona containment measures.

“We really appreciate the national government for allowing matatus to operate on full capacity.

We also appeal to the President to ensure buses are allowed to operate at night.  When buses come into operation, many people will resume their work,” said KTA Chief Executive Dennis Ombok.

Meanwhile in Nakuru, Governor Lee Kinyanjui has called on matatu operators to maintain high levels of integrity as one way to stop mass infections within their vehicles.

Kinyanjui noted that the industry is ranked among the super spreaders of the disease, especially along the Rift Valley trade corridor.

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