A proposal seeking to have matatu touts and conductors wear uniforms with their names and phone numbers has sparked an uproar within the sector.
Prof. Margaret Kamar, Jubilee Nominated Senator, tabled the proposal at the Senate on Thursday, calling for the senators to investigate the matatu sector to restore order.
She noted that the move would tame the rogue individuals who have wreaked havoc in the sector, leading to increased cases of passenger harassment.
"The Senators should go incognito and board matatus to know whether the rules are been adhered to by matatu drivers and conductors. Women have had a raw deal in this public transport.
"We've had cases whereby someone comes and sits on you, touches them inappropriately as well as cases of overloading," she explained.
"We should reach a level where matatu touts have their names and contacts on their uniforms so that we know who they are. They behave the way they do because they think nobody sees them. Thank God for social media these days, where these incidents are posted."
Kamar further advocated for urgent reforms to be instilled in the sector for sanity to be restored.
"Because we are a service nation, can we have these people work like waiters with name tags?" she added.
The professor highlighted the recent case along Thika Road, where a female passenger was assaulted by a matatu tout for declining to board the vehicle.
Her proposal has, however, been dismissed by matatu stakeholders who noted that the offences are mainly carried out by criminals and not the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) crew.
"Who attacks these passengers? You'll find it's mostly hooligans at the stages and not the PSV crew. Let them do their research properly or they can come to the lead operators, and we will tell them what happens. They should not come up with outrageous means of harassing people," Dickson Mbugua, Chairman of Matatu Welfare Association, told Kenyans.co.ke.
"They have forgotten that the drivers have badges which is a requirement according to law. Why are they overlooking that? What more do they want?"
Mbugua noted that the move, if adopted, would cause a strain on the PSV operators and would not restore sanity in the sector.
"They want to add liabilities to the PSV operators. These things work on sectors including hospitals and hotels but not the matatu," he added.
"At times, Lawmakers talk as if they live on the moon. Police should investigate these cases of harassment on a case-by-case basis to determine whether it's the crew or it's outsiders."
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