An Open Letter To Hon. Amos Kimunya

6 12 2010

Dear Sir,


I hope that this mail finds you in good health.

I admire your previous record as the Minister of Finance. However, your recent announcement that you will be phasing out 14 seater matatus as from 1ST January 2011 is inconsiderate and harsh considering the many Kenyans who use them as their daily mode of transport.

I agree with you the need to decongest the city but to me phasing out the 14 seaters won’t be a solution since from my observation it’s the numerous personal vehicles that cause this congestion! If you doubt this it will be my pleasure to take you out for a fact finding mission. To prove to you that it’s indeed true, why is it that during the day there are usually no traffic snarl ups and yet these matatus operate the whole day? It’s these personal vehicles that cause all the congestion!

Secondly, the 14 seaters take far much less time to fill up as compared to the 29, 33 and 51 seaters which take long to fill up. For example, when going to my home village in Taita, it takes an average of 2 hours for a 14 seater matatu to fill up from the Voi bus terminus so how long will a 51 seater take to fill up?  Also, it’s worth noting that many individuals going upcountry prefer shuttles to the big buses since they take a shorter time to fill up and this is evidenced by the large and growing fleets of the shuttle services companies such as the Rift Valley Shuttle. Transline Classic, Namanga Border Shuttle and others.

In my opinion, it would have been better for you to stop the licensing of new 14 seaters into the CBD rather than the entire country as a whole.

Thirdly, it’s easier to operate a 14 seater as compared to a 29, 33 and 51 seater due to the various costs involved. To start with, it’s cheaper to buy a 14 seater, the costs such as insurance,TLB license fees and city council parking fees are lower as compared to those of 29, 33 and 51 seaters!

Starting with a 14 seater is usually the first step of any investor and therefore removing this step is like discouraging the small entrepreneurs from investing and thus having a negative impact on the economy. It’s said that a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step and so by phasing out the 14 seater is like denying the small investor the first step that determines how far he or she will go. Mr. Kimunya please don’t deny them this right because no successful business has ever started with a large investment think of Nakumatt supermarket and many other small businesses that turned out to be successful.

Sir, if currently to get a loan to buy a 14 seater is difficult, what structures will there be in place that will make it easier for investors to get loans to buy the large buses?

Fourthly, the issue of matatu operators forming saccos and operating under them is well intended but I am afraid that they may turn out to be cartels since due to your directive most of them may not beat the deadline to form saccos and therefore those operators who already have saccos may charge high registration fees which may be exploitative and thus take us back to the dark days of exploitative cartels. In addition, allowing only one sacco per route kills the spirit of competition and thus hindering the operations of the industry.

Fifthly, I fail to understand the relationship between customization of matatus and road accidents. For instance why is it that Traffic policemen harass matatus with tinted windows and yet many personal vehicles have tinted windows including yours? Why the selective application of the law? It has been noted that many tourists visiting Kenya usually marvel and envy our matatu culture, customized matatus with graffiti and car entertainment that’s only unique to Kenya. Sir, by Traffic police harassing matatus that are customized this erodes our culture and leads to unemployment since many talented youths earn their daily bread by customizing these matatus and this may lead to insecurity since these youths lack any alternative source of income.

I vividly recall a documentary presented by Tim Njiru, a renowned Kenyan journalist, on the matatu culture in Kenya aired by the international news cable network Al Jazeera which created awareness on this culture and its impact on the economy and I believe that documentary really marketed Kenya Internationaly!

Sir, I fully support all the road safety measures being undertaken by your ministry and given an opportunity I would be more than glad to assist and participate in any of your campaign programs.

Let more energy be directed to road safety and not on harassing matatus since this ministry of Transport is not all about Public service vehicles but other forms of transport as well.

It’s my sincere hope that all these policies are aimed at improving the sector and not just aimed at benefiting some few individuals.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Guys, I have been appealing to you to sign the petitoin against banning our matatu culture. A big thank you to all those who have taken a few minutes to support our cause.

This letter came from a fellow Matatu lover and we are going to attach it to our petition and seek audience with the Ministry.

Remember together we can achieve more, so keep showing support. The link once again is…drop by.




2 responses

18 12 2010

izo nganya ziko juu tu sana i will post my nganya 4 u 2 c it its hot tha dust

20 12 2010

Hebu post them we see 😀

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