Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has directed the National Transport and Safety Authority to work towards ensuring a 50% reduction in traffic-related deaths this year and ultimately sustain near zero deaths.
Speaking to members of the NTSA Board for the first time since the agency was transferred from the Transport ministry on Monday, Matiangi said there is no place for laggards in the revamped NTSA as the government seeks to institutionalise better road safety measures in the country.
“Honesty and loyal leadership is what Kenyans are demanding, and you must directly be accountable to them by enforcing all laws ruthlessly and enforcing the standards without compromising,” he said.
The CS took issue with irregularities reported at the NTSA in the recent past and warned that any official found colluding with criminals to bypass the formal licensing procedures will not be spared or pardoned.
He divulged that investigations against individuals suspected of engaging in cloning of number plates and fraudulent registration of motor vehicles are at an advanced stage and those found culpable will face the law.
“Such irregularities have a ripple effect on our national security – the recent Dusit Hotel Complex attack is a case in point,” said Matiang’i, adding that the syndicate has eaten into the country’s overall revenue collection target.
He challenged the new NTSA Board to conduct an in depth evaluation of the authority so as to ensure it is fit for purpose and align its operations with the government’s efforts geared towards establishing a safe road transport system.
“Our statistics on road accidents do not reflect the number of roadworthy vehicles registered in our systems. These discrepancies imply that there could be several unroadworthy vehicles operating after passing our inspection tests irregularly,” he said.
The CS also urged them to make a habit of getting out of the office to gather first-hand information on the issuance of car plates, issuance and renewal of driving licences and inspection of vehicles, among other operations that fall under NTSA’s mandate.
President Uhuru Kenyatta moved NTSA to the ministry of Interior last month to synchronise information sharing and harmonise its operations with those of other agencies.
Dr Matiang’i assured the new team of the government’s full support and urged them to leverage their education and experience to make proactive decisions that would complement existing road safety measures.
The board members, John Obwocha, Catherine Waweru, Alice Chesire, Francis Mwongo, Moses Gachemi and Meshak Kidenda, were appointed by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia last week and will serve for a period of three years, with effect from February 4, 2019.