Mombasa,KENYA:Tension remained high for hours at the Likoni bus terminus on Saturday morning as Matatu operators clashed with police officers.
Tension began after the Matatu operators armed themselves with crude weapons to fight off the police officers who were implementing a move by National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) to detain and pluck-off the number plates of un-roadworthy public service vehicles operating in the area.
Emanuel Kazungu one of the drivers participating in the protest accused the police officers of intimidating Matatu operators in order to prevent them from operating.
“Some vehicles have complied but they have not been spared what do you call that if not intimidation?.”Kazungu said
Operations on the busy terminus remained paralyzed for hours with passengers caught between the crossfire scampering for safety.Journalists covering the event were not spared either.
NTSA deputy director safety enforcement and accident investigation boss Hared Aden who led the operation confirmed that 45 public vehicles were inspected.He said the number plates belonging to 25 other vehicles were impounded and will be charged in court for endangering the safety of the passengers.
“Area of focus was road service licence,inspection and general vehicle road worthiness,”said Mr herald.
Aden decried the Matatu operators operating un-roadworthy vehicles saying they were risking the safety of passengers and other road users.He said that the crackdown will continue not only in Mombasa but also country wide.
Hundrends of passengers using the terminus were left stranded with others complaining that the few Matatu’s operating had hiked the fare.
Calm was restored after a contingent of more than 50 police officers drawn from various police stations in the area, were brought in to disperse the operators.