MUTAVI, L Mutavi
President Uhuru Kenyatta has proposed a change in the model of commuter transport in Nairobi which he says will rid the city of traffic jams.In his proposal to matatu owners, President Kenyatta suggested that routes within the city be reserved for high capacity buses, while small matatus be left to shuttle passengers travelling long distances from Nairobi.

He said the change will help reduce traffic congestion in the capital city.

“Traffic congestion has impacted negatively on the economic growth. We need to embrace the high capacity vehicles to operate within the city while low capacity to offer off the city transport,” said President Kenyatta.

The proposal was on his speech read by  Transport Secretary James Macharia at the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) third National Delegates Council (NDC) meeting at KICC on Wednesday.

ROGUE MATATU CREWS

The President also ordered matatu saccos to reign on rogue matatu crew who do not respect the passengers.

He said matatu crews should be courteous and expressed concern at cases of careless driving and  drugging passengers which have tainted the image of matatu industry.

“If the discipline of matatus improve the people will ditch their private vehicles,” read the president’s speech.

He added that the matatu industry has made major strides in creating employment to the youths through graffiti on the vehicles. He however he warned against offensive decorations.

“I allowed artists to paint artistic images on public service vehicle creating more jobs for the youth. They should be innovative and avoid offensive messages,”said President Kenyatta.

Speaking at the same forum, Inspector General Joseph Boinnet of police warned the matatu crews from giving bribes to traffic police officers.

“The law is law. Do not give bribe, it takes two to tangle. If you comply I do not see why you are giving a bribe,”said Mr Boinnet.

MOA chairman Simon Kimutai demanded that the number of road blocks be reduced to curb extortion.