Matatu own­ers say they lose Sh3bn yearly to traf­fic of­fi­cers

Kimu­tai says driv­ers who do not give a bribe have their charges trumped up. ‘What is hap­pen­ing on our roads is not a case of will­ing-buyer, will­ing-seller’

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - JULIUS OTIENO @juliu­so­tieno04 (+)

The pub­lic trans­port sec­tor loses more than Sh3 bil­lion to cor­rupt traf­fic of­fi­cers an­nu­ally, matatu own­ers said yes­ter­day.

Matatu Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Simon Kimu­tai said cor­rupt of­fi­cers ex­tort money from matatu crews.

He spoke dur­ing the MOA’s third National Del­e­gates Coun­cil meet­ing and expo at the Keny­atta In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

“What is hap­pen­ing on our roads is not a case of will­ing-buyer, will­ing- seller, but ex­tor­tion by po­lice of­fi­cers, it is no longer a bribe,” Kimu­tai said.

He de­nied that mo­torists will­ingly give bribes, say­ing they are threat­ened by the of­fi­cers and are left with no choice but to part with money.

Kimu­tai said driv­ers who do not give a bribe face trumped-up charges, which will force them to part with more money if they are taken to court.

He said the del­e­gated pow­ers po­lice have in the trans­port sec­tor are of­ten abused.

Kimu­tai said the many road­blocks on the roads do not add value, but are av­enues for ex­tor­tion.

But National Trans­port and Safety Au­thor­ity Ap­peals Board chair­man Dick Waweru ac­cused the matatu own­ers of fail­ing to re­port the al­leged ex­tor­tion to the right au­thor­i­ties.

“When you com­plain that po­lice are ex­tort­ing and yet none of you has ever re­ported this to any au­thor­ity, how do you ex­pect us to help you or even ap­pre­hend those rogue of­fi­cers?” he asked.

Kimu­tai said po­lice, who un­der­stand the law, should en­lighten the driv­ers not to give bribes in­stead of threat­en­ing them us­ing the same law.

He said they want some road­blocks re­moved. “Why do we have 10 road blocks from Nairobi to Nakuru, yet all they do is tar­get the pub­lic ser­vice ve­hi­cles,” Kimu­tai said.

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