Date: 20 January 2017 01:41
Matatu owners and driver in Mombasa have dismissed an order by Governor Hassan Joho that they should not carry passengers who do not show voters’ cards.
Mr Ali Bates, a national official of the Matatu Owners Association, said even though it is important to register as voters, this should not be a requirement in public transport.
“We are businessmen with many of us owning the vehicles after [taking] loans. Now, if you say passengers without voters’ cards should be barred from boarding our matatus, how do we service the loans?” he asked.
He said that all saccos would be affected by the order since it will interfere with their businesses.
Members of all matatu saccos from the Coast region were set to meet at the Mombasa County Inspectorate offices at Tudor Thursday where the governor’s order was likely to be one of the agendas.
In a statement to the media on Wednesday, Governor Joho had asked matatu drivers, tuk tuk and boda boda riders to refuse to carry any passenger who fail to produce a voter’s card upon the completion of the ongoing voter listing on February 14.
“I am appealing to boda boda, tuk tuk and matatu drivers to refuse to carry passengers who do not have voters’ cards because this is the only way we are going to change our destiny and the generation who will come after us”, said the governor in the statement dispatched by the county director of communications Richard Chacha.
The sentiments were immediately supported by Mvita MP Abdullswamad Nassir who promised to meet all tuk tuk, matatu and boda boda operators in the area to ask them to rally their members not to carry passengers without a voter’s card.
Governor Joho, who is the ODM party deputy leader, gave strict instructions to all county departments not to serve citizens without proof of a voter’s card.
The governor’s orders generated fury on social media with many residents opposing it saying it goes against the Constitution which guarantees the freedom of choice.
“We are talking about the Constitution here, not county by-laws. Let’s put the governor out on this”, said Ms Agnes Kipimo on Facebook.
“We don’t need such draconian laws. We know our rights as Kenyans. Voting and registration is a choice and we should not be forced by anyone,” said Mr Brown Makanga.