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KISII

Kisii Matatu operators reject government plan to regulate fares

Brian Bright
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A Matatu conductor speaking to journalists in Kisii [Photo/Brian Nyachae]

The plan by the ministry of transport to regulate Matatu fares has been vehemently opposed by Matatu operators in Kisii.

The businessmen have cited several reasons among them mistrust over the intention of the government.

According to Nelson Ogachi a conductor in Nyamache-Kisii route, public service vehicles require many inputs to be operational and therefore fixing fare prices only is not enough.

Mr Ogachi has blamed the government for inflating oil prices continually and explained that fixing matatu fares is a prerogative of the Saccos.

“The government setting Matatu fares will paralyze transport and cause losses to investors due to the fluctuation of oil prices,” says the dejected Ogachi.

The move to amend the National Transport and Safety Authority and Traffic Act in order to allow the ministry of transport regulate fares charged by public service vehicles was first taken to parliament by Bomachoge Borabu MP Zadok Ogutu.

According to the permanent secretary in the ministry of transport Chris Obure the move seeks to safeguard the members of the public against unscrupulous Matatu Operators.

However, Mr Ogachi dismisses the claims saying bus fares are cordially agreed between the Matatu owners and passengers.

“It is Sacco’s that set fares for different routes. The passengers are shown fare tables before boarding vehicles giving them a chance for negotiation,” explains Mr Ogachi.

Passengers have however welcomed the move by the government saying it will save them the woes of being ever overcharged.

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