The High Court has temporary suspended National Transport Safety Authority’s (NTSA) move to stop renewing road service licences for 14-seater matatus.
Road Service Licences (RSL) allow matatus to ply certain routes in the city. Justice Chacha Mwita ordered NTSA to allow the matatu owners to continue renewing the licences and directed that the matter be heard on February 15, next year.
The ruling came after 24 matatu saccos, including Obamana, Ganaki, Manmo, Serian, Nakathi, Forty Four, and Embassava moved to court seeking orders to compel the government to continue licensing the 14-seater matatus.
Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, the saccos accused the government of involving ‘cartels’ in the planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to lock out genuine matatu owners. “The said road marking designated for the BRT buses has no place in the existing Traffic Rules in the Traffic Act and NTSA cannot bind the petitioners to any commitments,” said Kinyanjui.
“The petitioners have not been advised by the respondents the fate of their PSV busses if the regional metropolitan transport limited becomes the vehicle to effect the BRT program,” he added.
The petitioners told the court that NTSA blocked owners of 14-seater matatus from accessing the portal used to apply for or renew their road licences after annual inspection.