Matatu Operators Issue 3 New Demands Before Lowering Fares

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    Matatus at traffic snarl-up along Waiyaki Way in Nairobi
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Matatu Owners Association (MOA) of Kenya boss Simon Kimutai has hinted at the possibility of lowering transportation costs but laid down demands to the government.

    While appearing on KTN News on Tuesday, April 6, Kimutai disclosed that the transport industry was one of the most affected sectors since Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

    Since then, fares have constantly been on the rise with the situation worsened by the skyrocketing fuel prices as well as the recent cessation of movement instituted in five counties.

    Kimutai further argued that the costs would be relaxed only if the state lowered fuel interest rates, licensing demands as well as monthly fee all matatus remit to county governments.

    Matatu owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai (right) and National Co-ordinator Albert Karagacha arriving at Railways club in Nairobi on April 13,2016.
    Matatu owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai (right) and National Co-ordinator Albert Karagacha arriving at Railways club in Nairobi.

    "Number one, zero-rating on taxes for our fuel. This would translate to almost Ksh 50 or less per Litre. Number two, Licensing. When you want to operate, you apply for a license at the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). That one should be removed.

    "Number three is county governments not putting levies on us. Each vehicle pays over Ksh 5,000 in Nairobi in a month," argued Kimutai.

    It is estimated that over 20,000 matatus operate in Nairobi on a daily basis which translates to Ksh100 million in levy charges every month.

    Countrywide, matatus are estimated to be over 100,000 hence raking in Ksh500 million revenue for the county governments every month.

    Fuel costs, on the other hand, shot up on March 14 by as high as Ksh7.63, Ksh5.75 and Ksh5.41 per litre for Super Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene respectively.

    That pushed the retail price for super petrol up to Ksh122.81, Diesel at Ksh107.66 and Kerosene at Ksh97.85. With Kimutai's proposal, the state may be forced to slash the costs by half.

    In his argument, the matatu boss observed that if the measures are met, the operators would comfortably meet the costs of operations and maintenance of their fleets.

    "We are not telling them (government) to give us money, We just want to be facilitated in managing some of the costs," he explained.

    When President Uhuru Kenyatta put five counties under lockdown in March, some transportation companies hiked their prices threefold.

    A graphic showing demands by Matatu operators
    A graphic showing demands by Matatu operators
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