Kanges have to understand that the passengers’ responsibility is to pay their fare and they can give any amount of cash provided it sufficiently fits the charges.
When a passenger boards a matatu and gives out Sh1,000 when only Sh30 is required as fare, then the makanga should make sure they have enough ‘loose’ cash to hand back fare balances. It is not the passenger’s job to do this. But some rude and uncultured conductors think it’s the passengers’ work.
When you go to a convenience store to shop and you only buy a packet of yoghurt that probably goes for Sh50, the cashiers don’t ask you to give them ‘loose’ cash.
They don’t give you excuses. Even if it’s early in the morning and you are the first customer of the day, they always have a stash of cash, probably saved from the previous day’s sales to cater to customers. That is what matatus should do. Break up your cash before your work shift takes off.
I was in a 17B matatu, that plies Kasarani-Mwiki route, registration plate KCL 097J, and I was so annoyed by the crew’s insolent attitude. A passenger was about to alight and she asked the crew for her balance. One of the touts got so rude and told her: “Madam, si ungekuja na pesa ndogo since unajua fare ni 30 bob.” But that is not her responsibility.
They should only have a problem with her if she didn’t pay the expected cash. So, instead of taking Sh30, they charged her Sh50. This dishonesty and poor customer service is a common thing in the matatu industry, where kanges outrightly steal from their customers. Others will even pretend they forgot that they owe you balance.
This outright theft is not excusable. They are quick to steal from passengers, but if one boarded and didn’t have the required cash, even less by Sh10, they risk being thrown out or beaten up.
Matatu owners or Saccos must streamline their employees. I’m not sure which Sacco the aforementioned jav that also goes by GON belongs to, but that crew should be properly checked.
Passengers also need to report such cases to the relevant authorities. It’s a common occurrence because most people don’t speak up whenever they get shoddy services.