Kenya's NTSA Suspends Licenses of 64 Matatu Saccos Nationwide

Kenya's National Transport and Safety Authority revokes licenses of 64 matatu saccos due to non-compliance with road safety standards. The suspended operators, which include notable companies, are barred from operating until they meet safety regulations.

Israel Ojoko
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Kenya's NTSA Suspends Licenses of 64 Matatu Saccos Nationwide

Kenya's NTSA Suspends Licenses of 64 Matatu Saccos Nationwide

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in Kenya has revoked the licenses of 64 public transport operators, known as matatu saccos, with immediate effect.

The decision, announced by NTSA Director General George Njao on May 2, 2024, is part of the government's ongoing efforts to enforce road safety regulations and clamp down on transport operators who fail to adhere to safety standards.

Why this matters: This move highlights the government's commitment to prioritizing road safety and reducing accidents, which is essential for the well-being of passengers and the overall economy. The enforcement of safety regulations can also set a precedent for other industries and sectors to follow, leading to a broader impact on public safety in Kenya. The enforcement of safety regulations can also set a precedent for other industries and sectors to follow, leading to a broader impact on public safety in Kenya.

The suspended saccos operate on various routes across the country, with notable operators including Kensilver Express Ltd, Kiambu United Travellers Sacco Ltd, and Moline Safaris Limited. Other prominent saccos like London Prestige Sacco, New Rukawest Company Ltd, and Super Premium Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Ltd are also among those affected. The NTSA has advised the public not to board vehicles belonging to these saccos to avoid inconvenience.

Non-compliance with set road safety standards, including the use of non-roadworthy vehicles and overloading, was cited that the reason for the revocation. These practices have previously led to tragic accidents. "Members of the Public are hereby advised not to board any vehicles belonging to these Saccos Companies to avoid any inconveniences,"stated NTSA Director General George Njao.

The National Police Service (NPS) has been directed to impound any vehicles found operating contrary to the suspension. For saccos wishing to resume operations, a stringent re-evaluation of their compliance with safety norms and regulations will be required. The NTSA has reiterated its commitment to continuous monitoring and evaluation of public transport operators to ensure strict adherence to safety standards.

The suspension comes just days after Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen directed the suspension of licenses for Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) that did not comply with various rules and guidelines governing their operation. The CS directed that transport operators not meeting the minimum requirement of PSV Regulations 2014, including the minimum threshold of serviceable vehicles, non-compliance with road service licenses, inspection certificates, and PSV licenses, be suspended.

The list of affected saccos spans various regions of Kenya, with operators serving routes such as Eldoret, Kamosal, Eldama Ravine, Nakuru (Eldora Travellers Ltd), Kisii, Ogembo, Kilgoris (Famwena Ankuma Oyugis), and Bomet, Kisii, Migori, Homabay (Tiwamba Dricon Sacco Ltd), among others. The revocation of licenses is expected to significantly impact commuters nationwide who rely on these saccos for their daily transportation needs.

The matatu industry has long been a vital part of Kenya's public transport system, with thousands of privately-owned minibuses ferrying passengers across the country. However, the sector has also been plagued by safety concerns, with frequent accidents often attributed to reckless driving, overloading, and poorly maintained vehicles. The government has been working to reform the industry and enforce stricter regulations to improve road safety.

The NTSA's decision to revoke the licenses of non-compliant saccos sends a strong message to transport operators that the government is serious about enforcing safety standards and will not hesitate to take action against those who violate regulations. The move is expected to prompt other saccos to review their operations and ensure they are in compliance with the law.

Crackdown on non-compliant saccos continues, commuters are advised to exercise caution and only use licensed and compliant public transport operators. The government's efforts to improve road safety and bring order to the matatu industry are ongoing, with the ultimate goal of reducing accidents and ensuring the well-being of passengers nationwide.

Key Takeaways

  • NTSA revokes licenses of 64 matatu saccos in Kenya due to non-compliance with safety standards.
  • Saccos failed to meet road safety regulations, including use of non-roadworthy vehicles and overloading.
  • Public advised not to board vehicles from suspended saccos to avoid inconvenience.
  • National Police Service to impound vehicles operating contrary to suspension.
  • NTSA to continuously monitor and evaluate public transport operators for safety compliance.