Uhuru's team finally speaks on disbanding NTSA

Thousands of passengers have been this week forced to spend cold nights in bus stages.

Mr Macharia now says the growing desire to disbanding NTSA will not reduce the number of accidents on Kenya's roads, remarks which come barely a week after lawmakers threatened to table a motion in parliament to abolish the authority.

"Disbanding NTSA is not a solution. Let us take a holistic view of its mandate. It has numerous functions besides road safety," the minister said in an exclusive interview with The Star.

He added: "As much as it is the lead agency in matters of road safety, it is not the only one that should implement the safety."

Following the death of 36 people at Migaa near the notorious Sachangwan-Slagaa 14-km-stretch last week Sunday, there has been growing calls from Opposition politicians, the recent push led by Bungoma Senator and Senate Minority leader Moses Wetang'ula who wanted the Director General Francis Mejja-led authority.

The accident prompted the National police and NTSA to impose a ban on night travels, at a time the road users swell to historically high after the festive season. At least 3,000 people died in road accidents in the last 12 months.

The Opposition and Sachangwan residents have urged the government to instead commit nearly Sh500 million to make the 14-km killer stretch a dual carriage.

Night travel ban

Meanwhile, the night travel ban has affected thousands of students who were supposed to report to school as early as Tuesday, but had to wait longer, owing to the limited time allowed to be on the road.

The Matatu Owners Association (MOA), however, has appealed to NTSA to review the night travel ban saying has led to loss of revenue and untold suffering to Kenyans.

Association Chairman Mr Simon Kimutai on Thursday said they are not opposed to the ban but wanted the times adjusted to cushion investors in the sector who have lost millions in revenue since the ban was imposed.

“We are not opposed to it but we want it to be adjusted to midnight and not 7pm and also we be allowed to start their journey at 5am in the morning. Operators are now losing half of their daily revenue because the trips have been cut into half,” said Mr Kimutai in Nairobi.

On Tuesday Matatu owners in Nakuru Tuesday threatened to sue the NTSA for issuing the directive without consulting them, leading to heavy losses.

Mr James Munene, the manager of North Rift Shuttle-Nakuru branch, said more than 500 passengers were stranded as they had already started their journeys from various points by the time NTSA issued the directive.

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