Who is more stupid…

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
During the past few days we’ve lost quite a number of Kenyans to road accidents that could be attributed to so many reasons but human error (should I really call it error or stupidity? Maybe the latter) and yesterday’s accident in Molo was just the mother of all accidents that have occurred in the last few days.

That Matatu had over 30 passengers! The first time I heard of the news in social media I was sitting with a friend and I told her about it, I remember her asking me if it was a matatu and I confidently told her that was a bus.

It was not my intention to give false information but how could 18 people be in a matatu that is supposed to carry 14 passengers? I was just trying to be logical here. Then shock on me when I was watching the news on TV in the evening and learnt that the matatu did not just have 18 but 30 passengers!!

This makes me wonder, who is more stupid the passenger who boards an already overloaded matatu, a traffic police (do they still exist or should I just call them officers manning roadblocks?) who allows an evidently overloaded vehicle to pass through their checkpoints or the matatu crew whose greed push them to leading passengers to their graves?

Reminds me of an incident a few moths ago while I was travelling to Migori county from Kisumu a few months ago. I got into this matatu at the Kisumu Bus Station and sat at the front with the driver just before any other passenger could get in. The matatu soon had the required 14 passengers but they kept on bringing more.

I complained to the conductor but he was very rude. I remember him telling me, ” ukitaka starehe nunua gari lako” (Could be loosely translated to “if you need comfort you should buy your own car.”). Because I did not want to travel that long distance in an overloaded vehicle, I got out of the car and got a refund from the conductor as another passenger quickly hoped in to the seat I just left while throwing insults at me. So I hired a car and drove to Migori and a journey that could have costed me Ksh. 400 ended up costing me Ksh. 6,500 (Car hire cost and fuel).

What is my point? If we did not have passengers willing to board overloaded matatus they would not be carrying excess passengers. So who is stupid here? Judge for yourself.

These overloaded vehicles do not fly to their destinations, they use the highways with several roadblocks and highway patrol units, so how come the cops don’t see them? Going back to the matatu involved in the Molo accident, how many roadblocks do you think it passed through? Several, I can confidently say that but the police turned a blind eye after the conductor parted with Ksh.100 each time they came to a checkpoint – that is what our lives are worth in a matatu, at least to the Kenyan police.

My point? If the police were so strict in enforcing traffic regulations several lives could have been saved yesterday and so many days before that.

Why do police take bribes? I think the most obvious reason is because we offer it to them. It takes two to tango!

If  the only reason police takes bribes is because we offer it whenever we break the law, why don’t we just stop offering? Again because we do not TRUST the system. At times we offer bribes even when we are not in the wrong!!

Reminds me of 2003 when the current government came in to power (what does politics have to do with this, I know you are asking – I will explain). Kenyans were the most optimistic people in the face of the planet. We had so much TRUST in the government and the institutions because of the reform agenda that the NARC government came to power based on.

Police officers would not dare take bribes on the roads and we witnessed several citizens’ arrests of police officers found taking bribes! So how did we get back here?

The government failed us. they went to bed with the corrupt and we lost confidence in them and in our institutions. People like Githongo had to run away for their dear lives. I am not being the typical Kenyan blaming the government for all my woes (naomba serikali type of person) but when it comes to corruption, the back squarely stops at the President’s door and the Prime Minister’s too!

They did nothing to fight corruption and right now as they are going to retire we are showering them with praises yet they failed in key areas of fighting against corruption and ethnicity. Kibaki and Raila are leaving us even more divided than how they found us. The deaths of several Kenyans on our roads squarely rests on their shoulders for their lack of ability to act on corruption that makes our law enforcement officers the masters of impunity.

What we witness in our roads is just a manifestation of the rot in the entire Kenyan society. We do not need lip reforms, we need reforms we can TRUST in. We need reforms that makes the ordinary Kenyan confident in himself that he can achieve everything he endeavours to. We need reforms that will enable us reclaim the optimism we had at the beginning of 2003.

So the politicians are making promises against and everyone is talking about constitution and reforms but when I put out my genuinity-meter very few pass the test.

                                                   Follow me on twitter @OmindeNiMimi

                                                 UKABILA NI UJINGA VOTE WISELY

  1. Valid points raised, tis us who are failing thje system. We are the ones abetting this heinous offences by the touts and the police, we don't #ToaSauti enough.

    I think we should start a #MatatuRevolution to curb this menace. We should start by shunning crowded matatus each and everyone of us. This deaths gotta stop!


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