I promised to update you following my last blog post. My confrontation with this particular driver didn’t just stop. I decided to keep quite. My mum always reminded me, “Never argue with a fool, a stranger might not notice the difference.” He continued talking to himself and as they always do he threatened me, “Madam, nikutafutie polisi uniripoti kama inakuuma sana ? Polisi tunakula nao, utafanya?” (Can I get you a police to report me, if you are so bitter about this. The police, we are in this together.”)
Of course I believed him. If the police did something about such drivers, we will have some sanity on our roads, but what happens? I pretty know much concerning what goes on in this cursed industry. My father owns matatus and he has been in this industry with over 12 years experience. We have disagreed on some of the drivers and conductors he has hired before and I have made my point clear many a times, “This particular driver, please fire him with immediate effect.”
Drivers and conductors who risk the lives of innocent Kenyans by putting money before safety should not be on the roads, not at all. It’s just the other day, I lost a friend through a road accident .. So just to prove to this driver that I was ready to put some sanity in our roads, I wrote down the number plate, went straight to the police and reported his misconduct. Talking to the Police-in charge, Martin Simiyu, he promised to take action against this driver.
My call to the Police
On Wednesday, I called him and I called him again today, “I am sorry, we haven’t seen this matatu yet, I guess they saw you report them to us and they have changed the route. However, we are on operation, once we get it, I will call you and inform you of what we do with this driver.” Said Simiyu. I am not settling for this, I will call him again on Tuesday next week, just to see how he handles this case.
For how long can we condone such misconduct from the matatu drivers? People who seem to be moved by money and not the value of humanity? This is such cursed industry with many of the drivers behaving like they have never been to a driving school. Having attended a driving school like most of them, I was never told if there is a traffic jam, you can go on the opposite lane. How and where do they get such ideas?
I have vowed to carry my pen with me all the time, should I get into a matatu with a misbehaving driver, I will raise my voice, should he act big-headed, I will write down the number plate and on alighting, I will report him to the police. I will do this as many times as I can.
Most of the time, these drives do not even care about the matatu owners, they already know this is not a permanent job and they can be fired anytime. When a matatu is impounded, it is definitely not their loss, they can always get another matatu. The matatu owner is always the loser.
“Go slow on this, you know what these Langata drivers will do, they will sit down and discuss about you then they will not be allowing you into their matatus” warned a friend. “I will then buy my car, but until we are there, you can be sure I would have reported almost all the misbehaving Langata Matatus and ensured action has been taken against them, who knows we will one day change in our roads,” I replied.
Langata Road for a long time has been recorded as a risky road, with almost all drivers over speeding past the Zebra Crossing. Who does that?
I finally managed to make it to the J.M Kariuki documentary launch, one hour late, but I was happy I had participated in making this country a better place. “There are two types of Kenyans, those who will climb the mango tree and shake the mangoes and those who wait to pick the mangoes. Unfortunately, many Kenyans belong to the mango pickers,” remarked a Kenyan attending the launch during the documentary review.
Several reflections were made and I totally agree. Kenya is suffering from impunity in all sectors. “We are bleeding from a thousand wounds, every time we get new wounds; we bled for our lost souls. Kenya belongs to us. Change is coming, but we must take the lead. We are who we are not because we are in a poor country but because we do not support each other for a change. Each one of us needs to take responsibility for where we take our country. It is not in the hands of a few individuals, together we can do it!”
“Be the change you want to see in this World” Mahatma Gandhi