Mar 28, 2014
General
caxias
A last minute rush by matatus to fix digital speed governors has led to a shortage and an increase in prices.
A last minute rush by matatus to fix digital speed governors has led to a shortage and an increase in prices.

On Friday, matatu operators complained of the shortage and urged Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau to extend Tuesday’s deadline.

Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) chairman Dickson Mbugua said only 8,000 vehicles had been fitted with the speed gadgets out of about 200,000 passenger and commercial vehicles, saying there will be a crisis on Tuesday if the minister does not extend the deadline.

“The deadline should be extended for a minimum of three months and if possible one year,” he said.

The Transport ministry has warned that the Tuesday deadline will not be extended and that come next week, vehicles that will not have met the gazzetted rules would be impounded and their number plates removed.

Blame game

On shortage of the new speed governors, the Director of Motor vehicle Inspection Unit Garald Wangai said the matatu owners were to blame as they waited until the last minute to buy the gadgets.

“Suppliers could not import a lot of gadgets yet they were not assured they would be bought. If the vehicles owners had complied early, they would probably have got a better bargain and the suppliers would have imported more to meet the demand,” he said.

Vehicles owners had been given three months, starting January and that period expires on Monday, with a confrontation expected on Tuesday as police have been ordered to ensure no vehicle operates if it does not meet the new regulations.

Owners who have not complied are likely to keep their vehicles away, sparking a transport crisis.

The MWA boss said some dealers were selling the digital gadgets for as high as Sh45,000 yet the government had recommended that it be sold at Sh18,000 per unit.
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