Matatu Saccos operating within Central Region have been warned against using criminal gangs to frustrate their opponents.
The Central Regional Commissioner (RC), Wilfred Nyagwanga has said no matatu Sacco has authority to enjoy monopoly of plying some routes.
He spoke in Kangari Market on Friday, when he commissioned two Matatu saccos to ply routes in Kigumo sub county to others parts within and out of Murang’a county.
Nyagwanga said that all saccos should have a fair level ground to compete, saying some matatu owners in the past have been using criminal gangs to frustrate and block other operators to use some routes.
He said there must be competition for residents to have variety of vehicles they can choose to board.
“We cannot allow one Sacco to enjoy monopoly and prevents other saccos from using specific routes,” added Nyagwanga.
The routes from Kigumo Sub County to other areas, including Murang’a, Nairobi, Kenol and Thika have been dominated by one Sacco for decades.
Giving chance for other saccos to ply the routes have been a big challenge as Kigumo Traders Sacco blocked other operators from using the routes.
It forced involvement of county security team to allow other saccos including Namu and GMK Sacco to get authority from NTSA to ply the routes.
At the same time, Nyagwanga warned re-merging criminal gangs who are terrorizing matatu operators by demanding money saying police will always be in patrol to ensure matatu operators are not frustrated by people demanding to be paid for nothing.
Meanwhile, the RC has warned police colluding with criminals to traffick bhang and sell illicit brews. He observed that there have been claims that those selling bhang and illicit alcohol are being protected by some rogue security officers.
“Security officers are mandated to end menace of drugs and illicit brews but it was unfortunate that some polices officers are said to assist the criminals. We will do investigation and bring the culprits in book,” he stated.
He also said bhang smoking has been on rise in some parts of central region, adding that adequate measures are been taken to eliminate the menace.
“Abuse of bhang and alcohol has made many young people to abandon their education. We will not spare anyone found selling bhang or illicit brew in this region,” warned Nyagwanga.
During the public baraza, more than 2000 litres of illicit brews and gambling machines confiscated from different parts of Murang’a County were destroyed.
On her part, the Kigumo MP, Ruth Mwaniki said bhang smoking was contributing to many cases of domestic violence in the region.
She observed that bhang traffickers are even targeting school going children, adding that security agents must not to relent in fighting drugs and excessive alcoholism.
By Bernard Munyao