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Garissa PSV operators strike, stranding hundreds of travelers

Public transport services in Garissa County to other parts of the country have been halted since Wednesday morning, leaving hundreds of travellers stranded following a strike by the matatu owners over increased fuel prices.

The matatu owners are further protesting the guidelines issued by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) requiring retesting of PSV drivers during the renewal of their driving licences.

Although the implementation of the guidelines was suspended on Tuesday by Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen awaiting the report of a multi-agency committee tasked with looking into the issues, the matatus owners in Garissa still feel that their issues may not be looked into.

Salah Abdikadir, a manager for the Planet Coach that plies the Garissa-NNairobi route, said that most of their drivers have over 20 years of experience and that they do not need to be retested to renew their licences.

“Just imagine someone who has been driving these buses for 20 years being told that he needs to go back to class for retesting so that he can renew his licence. This will be a major problem and we are calling on the government to come up with alternative ways of solving the accident problem,” Abdikadir said.

“The prices of fuel are also rising every other day, making it difficult for business. We have decided that today we will down our tools’ so that the government can find a way to stabilise the fuel prices,” he added.

By Erick Kyalo

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