Monday, March 9, 2009

Road carnage in Kenya

I am saddened by news of another grisly road accident on Kagundo road, involving two matatus and a lorry. Three people have died and others have been taken to hospital. An eye witness speaking to news agents said it is the sixth on the road this year. There are many others that have been reported in other parts of the country, involving public service vehicles (PSV).

Apart from blaming drivers of these vehicles, I also blame traffic policemen who place road blocks and mostly stop PSV matatus (mini buses). These vehicles have loud music, which will not be switched off even near the police, the driver stops the vehicle a few meters ahead of the police, so that the conductor can alight and go back to where the police are. After a handshake between the police and the conductor were cash change hands, the driver moves on with the journey. Nothing is inspected in the vehicle, they don’t care if the driver has valid documents, whether the vehicle is road worthy or not and if the PSV has a speed governor or not. Speed governors where introduced by former Transport Minister Hon. Michuki, who was praised by Kenyan’s for bringing sanity on the road, only for speed governors to become history when he moved to another ministry. Sometimes I imagine this ministry does not have a minister, only to be reminded there is one Chirau Mwakwere and wonder if he is only concerned with other means of transport, not PSV for mwananchi wa kawaida (common citizen) who elected him?

Apart from matatus and buses being driven carelessly and being un-roadworthy, there are lorries carrying sand, stones and other building materials on such roads that are un-roadworthy. They do not have breaks and over speed with the heavy load they carry. All these pass police checks. Many of them have also caused grisly accidents and nothing is being done about it.

At this trend being the beggining of the year, how many more lives will be lost by the end of the year?


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all days you hear something as this, and as usual in this part of the world, why the people of this part have that warlike feeling?