Michuki rules crackdown gets hundreds arrested

People walking past Nyali bridge following the commencement of Michuki rules crackdown. photo:Janet Murikira

Mombasa, KENYA: More than 100 residents of Mombasa found themselves on the wrong side of the law on Monday following the crackdown on Matatus to implement the traffic laws famously known as ‘Michuki rules’.

Speaking to the press in Mombasa, Mombasa County Commander Johnstone Ipara, at least 184 people had been arrested by midday with more than 250 offenses.

“Those arrested were taken to the nearest courts. Those whom we arrested at Nyali Bridge area will be taken to the Shanzu court, while those whom we arrested in the City Centre, Likoni and Changamwe will be taken to the Mombasa court,” said Ipara.

The County Commander also warned those thinking that the crackdown will be a one day event saying that the operation will continue until people are ready to follow rules.

“We will not care about what people say, we care about how many people’s lives we will save and how many will follow the law. We shall not relent,” added Ipara.

Mombasa residents stranded as ‘Michuki rules’ crackdown returns

Passengers arrested included those who had not fastened their safety belt and bodaboda passengers without helmets.

The crackdown on public service vehicles (PSVs) started on Monday morning following the comeback of the famous ‘Michuki Rules’ which require Matatus to have a continuous yellow line, a speed governor, working safety belts and uniformed drivers and conductors.

Following the implementation of the rules, Matatu owners called for a nationwide strike that saw many Kenyans walk to their destinations.

A spot check by Baraka Fm in some stages including Dagorretti, Kikuyu and Kawangware, and Kasarani revealed that hundreds of commuters were stranded as a high percentage of Matatu operators withdrew their services for the better part of Monday morning hours.
The crisis was anticipated as from Monday after Federation of public transport chair Edwin Mukhabana vowed over the weekend that Public Service Vehicle operators will withdraw their services.
The decision to withdraw the vehicles from roads was reached  following deliberations by representatives
of PSV operators over the weekend.
Most of Matatu stages were deserted as hundreds of Nairobi residents were stranded some opted to walk to their workstations.
On the other hand Motorbike operators commonly known as  Bodaboda, their  business was static as compared to Matatu .
As per the government directive, vehicles which will not be line with set regulations will not be permitted on the road as the government enforces rules gazetted 15 years ago by the then Transport Minister John Michuki in an effort to tame the emergence of a rogue Matatu industry.

Railway fares to go down

Following the Matatu strike, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has directed Kenya Railways Corporation to reduce fares by 10% to ease the burden of transport on Kenyans.

The CS also directed Kenya Railways to increase the number and frequency of commuter trains on all routes.

Additional reporting by Christopher Nyamuta