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NTSA mum as killer Mwingi matatus defy ban

NTSA had communicated to the sacco directors stringent conditions they had to fulfill before NTSA could lift the ban on their operation, which was effected on September 9, a week after two vehicles from the sacco were involved in a head-on collision.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 05 Oct 2016 19:15 EAT

Matatus owned by the Mwingi Travellers Sacco are back on the road, less than a week after the National Transport and Safety Authority rejected a plea to lift its suspension. The matatus that ply the Nairobi-Mwingi-Kyuso-Tseikuru road had been suspended by NTSA but they resumed operations last weekend under unclear circumstances.

Last week, NTSA deputy director Cosmas Ngeso had promised that the sacco's matatus would remain off the road. Speaking to journalists at Mwingi Central Deputy County Commissioner David Rotich's office after meeting the sacco officials last Monday, Ngeso had stated that the matatus had not met certain standards required of them to operate.

He said NTSA had communicated to the sacco directors stringent conditions they had to fulfill before NTSA could lift the ban on their operation, which was effected on September 9, a week after two vehicles from the sacco were involved in a head-on collision.

The two vehicles, christened 'Itumba' and 'Makandara' collided at Kandwia along the Kyuso-Mwingi road in a mad rush for passengers on September 2. Three Kandwia primary school children who were walking to school were killed in the accident while a standard one pupil was badly injured and have had to have one leg amputated.

Ngeso insisted that the time to lift the suspension was not ripe noting that NTSA visit to Mwingi was only to review the suspension terms. “We came to Mwingi in a procedural review of the suspension terms. We wanted to establish how far the Sacco has gone in fulfilling the conditions we gave them. They have not met all of them,” he told the media.

However, the unannounced resumption of service by the Sacco has left residents blaming  NTSA wondering why it made a swift about-turn. Kyuso MCAs Angeline Mbula said there was something suspect about the resumption of service of the suspended Sacco Matatus.

Speaking on phone, Ngeso said he was not in a position to talk to the press since he was in a meeting.

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