The regional administration and the County government of Makueni have resolved to form a team that would look into the simmering dispute between matatu and taxi (probox) operators in the County.
The committee will comprise of main stakeholders in the transport sector like matatu, taxi, county government and security agencies from the national government.
The resolution was reached in a meeting convened jointly by the Makueni County Commissioner (CC) Maalim Mohammed and area governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana at a hotel in Wote.
During the meeting, the Matatu Chairman Lower Eastern region, Steve Mutuku wanted the probox vehicles to the stopped from operating as they were creating stiff competition in the transport sector yet they are not registered as matatus in Saccos.
He said matatu owners were unable to service the huge loans they took to purchase vehicles hence the plea for fair competition from the taxi operators.
“We are required to get Sh.200,000 monthly to service a loan of Sh.7 million. Let the taxis register in saccos so that we can have a fair competition,” said Mutuku.
Speaking at the same function, the taxi representative, Mark Mbewa opposed the proposal, saying they do not have money to buy matatus to enable them join the Saccos.
Governor Prof. Kibwana said that the conflict should be resolved through dialogue while, saying it was imperative to follow the law of the land.
During the meeting, the governor disclosed that the national government would tarmac the Emali-Ukia road but did not reveal the amount of money involved saying there would be a visit to the site on Thursday, July 18.
Speaking at the same function, Mohammed said that the small committee should have at least two members from each sector so that no one was left out.
“The committee should have representatives from the matatu, taxi, boda boda, county and national government,” he said.
Consequently, the administrator said that the committee should come up with workable recommendations that could be implemented as per the law of the land.
However, Mohammed said that the status quo should be maintained as they awaited a lasting solution from the small committee.
By Patrick Nyakundi