Matatu operators in the country on Thursday questioned the government’s intention in hurrying to implement the cashless bus fare payment system, saying the public was yet to be properly informed and prepared on the new mode of operation.
Through their umbrella body, Matatu Welfare Association (MWA), the operators want implementation of the cashless system shelved until all grievances surrounding it are resolved.
Sammy Gitau, MWA’s national Secretary General said hurried implementation of the new system would make it vulnerable for abuse by unscrupulous people bend of conning the public and matatu owners.
“Cases of corruption and embezzlement will be witnessed on a regular basis, our employees will milk us dry since there is no money involved. I don’t see why we should rush it, in any case Kenyans are not yet 100 percent techno savvy,” Gitau told Baraka FM in an interview.
He said the ministry of Transport ought to have been consulted before enforcement of the system on Kenyans, adding it would be a recipe for chaos and suffering of the public and the players in the industry.
“We risk losing billions of shillings if this system is implemented without further discussion with the industry players; our government should stop imitating things from the west.”
The Kenya Transport Authority said earlier that the taxman, (KRA) was working on a framework to facilitate taxation of all Public Service Vehicles, including matatus and minibuses that carry up to 24 passengers.
Once the cashless system is operational, commuters will pay fares using pre-paid cards at point-of-sale terminals installed in compliant buses and matatus.
Through this system, KRA hopes to generate an additional Sh20 billion annually from an industry believed to churn Sh400 million daily and up to Sh20 billion annually.