The Mount Kenya Matatu Owners Association who operate a fleet of over 10,000 public service vehicles in the region have threatened to sue the government through the Ministry of Transport and the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) of failing to consult the sector players while implementing the new speed limit gadgets which are already in the market.
In a written Memoranda to Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and his Interior and Coordination of National Government counterpart Dr. Fred Matiang’i, signed by the association’s chairman Michael Kariuki the operators in the cried foul, saying that they are staring at Ksh6.8 billion loss if the government does not call off the implementation of the new generation speed governors. They also noted that the entire operation has nothing to do with road safety but is a money-making machine for a handful of individuals with selfish interests.
“They brought us defective or substandard speed governors, which were approved by both NTSA and Kenya Bureau of Standards. Now they are forcing us to replace them with new ones that they have still brought to us. This is no longer about road safety but it’s a business run by cartels who want to mint billions from the PSVs, Goods Carrying Vehicles (GCVs) and Tourist Service Vehicles.
“We are law-abiding citizens and we are not against any law. What we are against is exploitation by some cartels of powerful people who control the speed governors business. We are not ready to be fleeced again,” he said.
Apparently, most of the new speed governors are foreign-owned and controlled and their servers sit in foreign countries. High chances are security agencies on the ground have not fully analyzed this new system to ensure that the data generated cannot be accessed by an illegal group who could organize attacks on the public transport system. Matatu owners now fear the data might be misused to perpetrate a crime or extort money from the operators.
The Association now wants the government to stop further exploitation of players in the Matatu industry and instead purchase the new speed governors for them.