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Reason matatu operators cancelled planned strike on Wednesday

Matatu operators cancelled their planned strike after CS Murkomen bowed to their demands

Bus attendants help fasten wares to the top of a matatu at the Machakos Country Bus Station [Photo: Steve MulwawaKi7]

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen’s last-minute directive stalled the planned strike by matatu operators slated for July 12, 2023.

On Tuesday evening, July 11, CS Murkomen issued a directive to suspend the mandatory retesting of drivers operating public service vehicles.

The CS said he would formulate a muti-agency team including stakeholders to review the mandatory retesting of drivers.

We have agreed as well that they shall submit the names of the officials representing all the industry players by 1st August 2023. The exercise will take 14 days and the report with recommendations submitted for further decision-making.

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“Taking note of the above, I hereby halt the retesting of drivers until 1st September 2023 to give the multi-agency committee time to address the rising concerns,” he said in a statement.

Following the move, Matatu Owners Association chairman Albert Karakacha said that the association had halted its planned strike.

He said that following Murkomen’s intervention, the MOA instructed PSV drivers to continue normal operations.

However, some towns across the country registered low matatu activity. In Nyeri for example the terminus was largely unoccupied as 9:00am.

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In June, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) had implemented a mandatory re-test for matatu, taxi, commercial, and school bus drivers.

This re-test was set to be conducted every three years before a driver can renew their license.

Drivers were required to apply online and pay a fee of Sh1,050. The re-test included a written theory exam and oral submissions, and the questions are based on the curriculum for driver training and testing.

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