Matatu owners drawn from Central, Nairobi and Eastern regions have vowed to object to a directive by the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) to install new speed governors.
The Matatu operators have accused NTSA of not being fair as the directive would cause them to incur unnecessary expenses.
Speaking when they met at Kenol market in Murang’a, the operators said that they would ground services if the NTSA continued pushing for installation of new speed governors.
In November last, year, NTSA directed all PSV to be fitted with speed governors that could relay data in real-time to its data base in a move aimed at taming road accidents.
NTSA opted not to be issuing inspection permits if the vehicles would not have new speed governors, a move that has angered the matatu operators.
Led by their chairman Mr. Wilson Mwangi, the matatu owners claimed that the required new governors were almost the same with what they have been using over time.
“If the government needs to monitor the speed or the location of a matatu they can easily do it with the existing governors. What is the need for a new speed governor?” posed Mwangi.
He accused NTSA alleging that the move to install new gadgets is being pushed by individuals who want to make money through selling of the new speed governors.
The association’s Secretary Mr. Abraham Gichovi noted the matatu owners would not be able to pay their loans due to the high cost of the speed governors with one is costing over Sh30, 000.
Gichovi argued that the move is a scheme tailored by people in the government with the help of agents on the ground to make money.
He observed that most of their vehicles were grounded as they have not been issued with inspection permits, something which is denying drivers and their conductors work.
“The directive is occasioning unemployment as most of our vehicles are grounded. The matatu industry has employed thousands of people but if this directive is not withdrawn, there will be massive job losses,” added Gichovi.
The new required speed limiters have subscriber identification module (SIM) cards that could transmit data on the speed, location, driver and Sacco the vehicle belongs to. The governors will also be linked to drivers’ smart licenses.
By Bernard Munyao and Everlyne Njeri