Since the month of March, the country has put major cities under lockdown as part of measures to flatten the curve of the deadly coronavirus that is killing people globally, this has, in turn, paralyzed public transport leaving thousands jobless.
Now, Matatu Saccos are pleading with the government to save them from incurring daily losses by extending the cessation of movement order that is set to expire tomorrow.
Officials from Murang’a Shuttle Limited have said the Sacco was losing close to Sh.10 million every month since the month of March when the national government imposed cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi. Their matatus used to ply Murang’a-Nairobi route and have since been grounded.
The officials say unlike the 420 matatu Saccos which slid under the radar and started operating illegally in Nairobi County, their employees are suffering and new measures to live with the virus should be introduced.
The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) statistics show there are only 272 registered matatu Saccos in the city, out of the 692 that are operating. This is according to new data from the NTSA tabled by its Licensing Manager Jackson Mutua before the assembly’s transport committee last week. The committee has now directed the transport department not to issue licenses to more matatu Saccos.
“We have been out of work for almost three months now and have used up most of our savings. Imposing some of the very strict directives to mitigate the pandemic has only served to aggravate our situation,” said the Sacco chairman, Martin Wairimu. “However, should the government give us a chance to resume business, we are ready to abide by the laid down guidelines,” said Wairimu.