George Njao, the Director General of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), has been suspended pending a probe into increased road accidents in the country.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, April 24, NTSA Board chair Aden Noor Ali said Njao had been sent on a 30-day compulsory leave to allow the authority to look into the worrying trend.
Ali said an ad-hoc committee had been formed to help with the investigations.
"We have given our director general 30 days' leave of absence so that we can be able to get some of the information we need to get or until the board decides otherwise," Ali stated.
The board has appointed Cosmas Ngeso to serve as DG in an acting capacity.
"We will deliberate and decide how to proceed at the next general meeting," the chair added.
At the same time, the board suspended the operating licences of several matatu Saccos whose vehicles have been involved in fatal accidents in the last 30 days.
The affected Saccos include Tahmeed company whose bus was involved in an accident near Kibunja along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway on Monday, April 17, 2023, claiming four lives.
Others are Taita Taveta Sacco, Team Swat Logistic & Management Limited and Kyoga Hauliers Kenya Limited which claimed a total of 15 lives in separate accidents on April 15 and April 20, respectively.
The Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators are required to undergo a safety and compliance assessment before resuming operations.
"The PSV operators will not be allowed to operate until this (the assessment) is complete," the authority said in a separate statement.
Further, the authority warned that the same disciplinary action shall be taken against any other Saccos involved in fatal crashes going forward.
NTSA staff members have also been warned against flouting laid down protocols while issuing licences to motorists.
"Further to this, the board shall take immediate and severe disciplinary action against members of staff who will issue an inspection certificate and or road service licence and or driving licence and driving licence(DL) endorsement to any vehicle and driver without laid down procedures," NTSA warned.