COURT DECLARES MOVE TO PHASE-OUT 14 SEATER MATATUS ILLEGAL.

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BY SAM ALFAN.

A move by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to phase out the 14 seater matatu has been declared as illegal.

High court Judge Weldon Korir ruled that there was no public participation when the agency decided to phase out the matatus from public transportation.

Further, the court ruled that the Michuki Rules were no longer available for enforcement, having been decided upon by then High Court judge Justice JB. Ojwang.

According to Justice Korir it was not proper for NTSA to ask PSV operators to apply Michuki Rules as set out in Legal Notice 161 of 2003.

The Judge said having been decided years back, the High Court cannot revist the issue again.

“They are also no longer in force as submitted by the respondents. The Michuki rules were either quashed upon the lapse of six months from the date of the delivery of the judgement in the matter between the republic Vs minister of transport or they were through enactment of the Murungaru rules,” the court said.

According to the regulation 4 of Legal Notice No. 179 of 2014, NTSA had published that it shall not license any new Public Service Vehicle as commuter service vehicle whose seating carrying capacity is less than twenty-five passengers.

The judge further ruled that Legal Notice No. 179 of 2014 ought to have been submitted to Parliament for approval and the failure to submit it to Parliament rendered it null and void within seven days of its publication.

“It was incumbent upon the makers of the regulations to demonstrate that the public was involved in the enactment of the regulations. The respondents have failed to prove that there was public participation in the enactment of the impugned regulation.

Court declared that Regulation 4 of Legal Notice No. 179 of 2014 unconstitutional and unlawful and therefore null and void.

This is after several matatu saccos filed a suit through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui seeking declaration that NTSA is bound by estoppel by its conduct of not affecting the terms of section 4(2) and 4(3) of legal Notice 179 of December 31 of 2014 against the saccos and their members since the said date and it cannot without amending the said provisions effect the same unilaterally suddenly in 2018 or their after.

The saccos also sought the court to stop NTSA, attorney General and Transport cabinet secretary their agents or servants from demanding of the saccos compliance with legal notices 161 of 2003 popularly known as “Michuki rules” in the operations of the petitioner’s and their members’ PSV vehicles
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The saccos further sought to quash NTSA legal Notice 179 of 2014 published December 31,2014 and forthwith prohibit NTSA from issuing any road services licenses for tax cab services to Nagiru co-operative sacco society Ltd and west Madaraka route 14 sacco Ltd taxi cabs and any taxi cab playing in the country as such taxi cabs when such taxi have failed to comply with mandatory provisions of section 102(2) of the traffic Act to paint their taxi cabs with the legislated continous yellow line.

Saccos further sought NTSA from effecting or rolling out the BRT program absent applicable rules or regulations and such necessary statutory platform to govern the operations and parameters thereof among other orders.

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