action was that the drivers and matatu touts had to obtain
security clearance certificates from the Special Branch at
the police service as there was this suspicion that some
were involved in criminal activities.
The third action
was to hold passengers liable in the event that the matatu
was over crowded.
The rule was that matatus had to be cleared to carry a
specific number of passengers.
Once that was
done the onus was on both the driver and the passengers to
observe this rule and both would be punished for any
requirement was that the matatus had to operate on clearly
To this end, all
matatus were required to have a yellow discontinuous line
around the middle of the vehicle and also have the
licensed route printed on the vehicle.
This way the police would be able to tell a matatu from a
distance and they could also quickly check whether the
vehicle was on its approved route.
The first four
items were meant to change the mindset of the passengers
as well as instill discipline to the operators and owners.
The next two
items of the Michuki Rules were more safety critical.
The first safety
critical item was that each matatu had to install safety
belts for all passengers and then passengers were expected
to wear them on pain of a fine should they be found not
having belted up during travel.
raised a lot of hue and cry from the operators citing cost
They also talked
about the cost of maintenance and the practicality of
fitting and using them.
equally apprehensive arguing that requiring a passenger to
belt up would slow down the journey times.
The view was
that should a passenger be travelling between stops a
short distance apart then the time wasted belting up was
Also where a
passenger sitting by a window on a three passenger bench
seat had to get out then two other passengers would have
to unbelt, get off the seat and then belt up again before
the matatu would be allowed to move.
safety critical item was the requirement that each public
service vehicle had to install a speed governor.
ensure that the vehicle could only operate at a maximum of
eighty kilometres an hour.
This was the law
that was in operation at the time and the action was
intended to reduce the high death rate that had permeated
the road accident statistics in Kenya.
accident was fatal due to speed rather than anything else.
requirements created much reported speculation that
certain people in government were responsible for this
requirement as they stood to gain from the sale of
seatbelts and speed governors.
The papers went
as far as posturing that relatives of the Minister had
formed companies to import the material and that they were
in the high seas long before the rules were passed.
The key thing
however, was that the rules were implemented and there was
a drastic reduction in
the number of accidents as well as the number of
the matatu business became the norm and slowly the rest of
the driving population started to follow suit.
move of late Michuki to another Ministry resulted in the
end of the transformation
as the Minister that followed did not have the guts to
continue the purge.
It was also the
case of wanting to come up with something else that could
be stamped with their own name.