August 12, 2022

  • Matatu operators have set up tough penalties and punishments for touts working under their Saccos in a bid to tame cases of indiscipline in the sector that has been branded rogue. reached out to a senior official in the matatu association who confirmed that most Saccos have similar disciplinary measures for touts in order to keep them in check.

    For instance, if a tout – also locally known as makanga – overloads a Public Service Vehicle (PSV), they risk being suspended without pay for a month.

    File image of Ngong Matatus on Wednesday, February 10, 2021
    File image of Ngong Matatus on Wednesday, February 10, 2021

    Sacco bosses also take cases of passenger harassment seriously, breaking Sacco laws and constant complaints from passengers. These can lead to a tout’s suspension.

    At some point, touts are sacked on the spot for breaking traffic rules. also learnt that some Saccos work with police to arrest touts and drivers who are corrupt. Cases of siphoning fuel, extorting passengers or participating, aiding and abetting crime are also dealt with immediately.

    There are weekly meetings where managers are supposed to put employees in check. During these meetings, touts and drivers are lauded or reprimanded depending on the nature of feedback Sacco received during the week.

    Most Saccos come up with new laws constantly especially when passenger complaints increase. Reshuffling is also a method used to deal with indiscipline among matatu crews.

    These measures also affect matatu owners if they are found flouting laws that the Saccos have set.

    If a matatu crew is rogue and no changes are instituted, the Sacco resolves to suspend or ban the PSV if the owner does not take action to tame indiscipline.

    Saccos have encouraged passengers to report any harassment by touts noting that most PSVs have Sacco contacts on them in order to improve service delivery.

    Buses and matatus pick up upcountry travellers at Nairobi's famous Machakos country bus station
    Long distance buses at Nairobi’s Machakos Country Bus Station in a photo dated November 2017

    Complaints can be filed at the terminus where Sacco officials are present. Normally, matatus get most of their complaints from social media since they have accounts and pages which track customer feedback.

    Nowadays, touts and drivers are vetted before being given jobs.

    These Saccos have taken up the responsibility to tame the industry which has been accused of being rogue.

    Some of these measures are also seen as a way of countering road accidents and improving passenger safety.

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  • Source: kENYANS.CO.KE

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