By Clement Kamau
As the Covid-19 continues to hit the transport industry across the country, matatu operators and sand transporters in parts of Kiambu County have accused traffic police officers of harassing and exploiting them.
They decried rampant corruption in the transport industry, claiming that the officers have become ruthless, inhuman and insensitive.
Speaking to K24 Digital at the Kikuyu matatu terminus on Tuesday, April 20, the desperate operators said that the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their business and yet the officers are still demanding bribes from them.
“The number of commuters has drastically gone down but these people demand Sh100 both in the morning and afternoon from every vehicle operating from here,” said Kimani Mbugua, a driver.
They urged the traffic commandant Samuel Kimaru to tame corruption practices among officers manning roads at Sigona, Dagoretti, Alliance, Kikuyu town, Muthiga and Wangige, who they said have turned their vehicles into cash-cows.
“Some of these officers have overstayed in respective police bases and have actually been assimilated as locals. They should be transferred the soonest possible,” said a route 105 driver sought anonymity for fear of repercussions.
Other areas affected by the vice include Kiambu town, Karuri and Nazareth routes. There, building materials and fresh farm products transporters are the victims.
The operators said that traffic officers have familiarized themselves with matatu Saccos hence making giving bribes easy and convenient.
They said that traffic police officers were minting millions of shillings corruptly and urged the traffic police department to ensure that bribery cartels are dismantled.