Kenya: Disrespecting passengers should be a thing of the past
Posted by African Press International on May 5, 2012
< Grace Adhiambo, reporting from Kakamega-Kenya
For how long will passengers be handled with so much disrespect? It is time touts realised that without these passengers life would be hell for them. From the way they demand for bus fare to the way they harass a passenger when he/she wants to alight tells a lot. Kenyan touts have discovered a new way of going back home in loaded pockets.
A normal matatu should carry a maximum of fourteen people but with the help of ‘sambaza’ they manage to carry eighteen passengers in one matatu.’ Sambaza’ as it is commonly refered to by many is a piece of wood that is normally fixed between to chairs to create a temporary seat for an extra client.
Majority of the touts do not seem to realise the risks involved in doing such actions. Road accidents have become the order of the day for Kenyans and they don’t seem to ask themselves why this is happening.The fact remain that our traffic police are to blame. For how long will they continue to cover up for such touts? How many times have we spotted them receiving bribe from the touts and leave the vehicle to continue with the journey despite overloading or being driven by drivers who do not have the driving licence?
This is corruption and should not be entertained at all costs.Why risk the lives of many people when such actions can be stopped? These traffic police should search their souls if at all they have any and realise that it is time they stopped putting lives at risk for their own selfish gains.
Whoever came up with the idea of carrying passengers at the back of the car must have been that son of the devil.Im sorry to say that but I was not pleased at all. How can a passenger pay fare like the others and be made to sit at the boot? We are becoming too selfish. This is commonly seen in vehicles known by many as probox. It has a spacious boot so touts thought why not make proper use of the space? What baffles me is that despite being made to unwillingly sit in the boot you will have to pay the same fare us the others.
I blame such passengers too.
The moment you realise that a matatu is full why do you have to insist on bordering it, when there are a lot of vehicles to use. Under such circumstances we cannot blame the government. We should be our brothers keepers. We should not entertain some actions that expose us to various risks and then blame the government for everything.
What do you do as a Kenyan citizen when you spot a traffic policeman take bribe from the touts? Why do you allow the touts to carry excess passengers just to sit back and complain? It is time the Kenyan passengers realised that they deserve maximum respect from the touts because without them they would not put food on the table.
Maximum respect here means from the way they address them when asking for fares to the way they handle them throughout the journey. We should not make travelling be hell for those who cannot afford to get their own private cars.