A Matatu Sacco plying the Kitui-Machakos-Nairobi route is now calling upon Machakos Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua to intervene in what it alleges is harassment by County Inspectorate Officers over parking space.
Through their Chairman, Gerald Lamba, Nakisa Sacco is also protesting a move by the county administrators that saw the operator expelled from the Machakos Bus termini under unclear circumstances.
The official now says the operations of the giant PSV Sacco has been thrown into disarray and the earnings of hundreds of their drivers and conductors are currently at stake, especially in the current Covid 19 pandemic restrictions that banned movement in and out of Nairobi.
“We are imploring our Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua to come and rescue us from these heartless county inspectorate officials who have been harassing us daily and making our work impossible. They have already chased us out of the main bus park where we have been operating from since 2005 without any apparent reason, and even gone ahead and allocated those places to other Saccos. We are calling upon the governor and the County Executive Committee member for roads and transport to intervene and salvage our operators who have nowhere to go,” he said.
He alleged that the problem has been aggravated by corrupt officials at the Inspectorate department who he claimed have been collecting bribes from Saccos, intending to add more picking places due to the cut throat competition that has befallen the sector due to depressed earnings after the government locked PSV matatus from upcountry from entering the city early this year in a bid to curb the spread of Covid 19.
“It is shocking to see other PSV operators being allowed to pick and collect passengers within the park while our drivers are being evicted from the same place. We pay our rates to the County government faithfully and we are therefore surprised the county government has decided to kick us out of the park without any valid reason. Why is this discrimination?” posed the official who is now demanding the county authorities to reinstate their members into the matatu terminal.
The matatu industry has been hard hit by movement restrictions the government imposed on movement across counties in an effort to contain the Covid 19 scare.
Most of PSV matatus that used to ply from the rural areas into Nairobi and Mombasa have now been forced to either redirect their trade into less profitable routes or convert their vehicles into vans for ferrying fresh produce and parcels in a bid to remain afloat.
By Samuel Maina