Inside Kenyatta’s Kshs30 Matatu Surprise Ride

President Uhuru Kenyatta uses his card to pay for a ride after registering for the new cashless payment system for public service vehicles in Nairobi recently

South Sudan President Salva Kiir returned to Juba on Wednesday after his trip from Sudan was cancelled at the last minute.

Kiir fell as he boarded the presidential jet at Khartoum airport. It is thought fatigue took its toll on his body.

In Sudan, page more about Kiir and his counterpart Omar Bashir agreed to find a political solution to the disputed oil-rich border towns and insecurity in South Sudan.

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Meanwhile, cure the United Nations Security Council yesterday voiced alarm and outrage at the eruption of hostilities in South Sudan over the past week which left numerous civilians dead and injured and placed increasing pressure on the country’s already overwhelming humanitarian crisis.

In a statement to the press issued in New York, the Council “condemned in the strongest terms” a series of clashes between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and Opposition forces in South Sudan’s Unity and Upper Nile states between 26 October and 2 November, adding that the deadly fighting had violated cessation of hostilities agreements and demonstrated “an absence of commitment by both sides to peace and the political process.”

The Council’s statement comes on the heels of Tuesday’s briefing by UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan, Margrethe Løj, on the already tenuous situation in the young country.

South Sudan has experienced several bouts of violence over the past few months, including an incident in which the UN base in Bentiu came under fire resulting in the wounding of one child.

Meanwhile, a prior attack caused hundreds of people to seek shelter at the nearest airport. Approximately 340 civilians took shelter with UN Mission in the country (UNMISS) troops, and then were escorted to safety.

Political in-fighting between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, started in mid-December 2013 and subsequently turned into a full-fledged conflict that has sent nearly 100,000 civilians fleeing to UNMISS bases around the country.

The crisis has uprooted some 1.5 million people and placed more than 7 million at risk of hunger and disease.

In their statement, the 15-member Council voiced “grave concern” that the UN base near Bentiu – where 49,000 internally displaced persons are currently sheltering – had once again been within proximity of the hostilities and that the new fighting was “magnifying an already serious humanitarian crisis” in the country.

The members “strongly demanded an immediate end to all violence and reiterated their demand to end human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.”

In addition, they called on both President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar to reach agreement through the ongoing IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in South Sudan.

The Council also reiterated its “steadfast support” for UNMISS and its “vital mission” in the country while condemning the recent detentions of three UNMISS personnel and the kidnappings of two UN-affiliated personnel.

“The members of the Security Council demanded their immediate and safe release, and called upon the Government of South Sudan to swiftly investigate these incidents and to ensure that justice is served,” the statement added.
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta is indeed a man of surprises.

Just recently, order he excited Kenyans when he wore a military uniform at an army function. He would later make a surprise visit to the beaches of Mombasa where he partied with the youth.

Around the same time, cialis 40mg Kenyatta surprised people when he moved into a restaurant in Mombasa before asking for a plate of food which he shared with friends.

He sometimes uses commercial planes for his foreign trips.

Kenyatta has once again made history of sorts by abandoning his limousine, visit this jumping into a matatu and paying his KSh 30 fare for a journey between State House and Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) to the surprise of members of the public and security officers enroute.

Many Kenyans including matatu owners, drivers and touts were amazed to find the matatu carrying the president edged between security vehicles and being escorted to the KICC where the Head of State launched the PSV cashless 1963 card during the Matatu Owners Association Annual Delegates Conference.

The new cashless system now means commuters will no longer need to carry cash money for fare which will now be done electronically.

Before taking the matatu ride, President Kenyatta registered for the new Public Service Vehicle (PSV) 1963 cashless card to test its workability as he jovially interacted with the driver and the conductor..

During the ride, bus conductor Absalom Omuhatia charged the President who also paid fare for Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, his private Secretary Jomo Gecaga and Transport CS Michael Kamau.

“In the event something happened during a matatu ride and you needed a refund, the cashless system makes it easy, for the crew in the Matatu,” Omuhatia explained to the Head of State

Adding, “We are even ready to go and get trained by NYS so that we can have acceptable standards in our operations.”

The new cashless fare system will revolutionize the public transport industry and also ensure accountability in the sector.

The 1963 electronic payment system provides investors in the sector with proper controls and relieves stakeholders of the risks involved in carrying cash.

“This new system brings convenience, security and accountability all at once. As the system is implemented, I urge investors to avoid loading extra costs on passengers, just like they do not increase fare because they have bought a new bus” the President said.

The President commended the matatu industry for working hard to shed its former image of being a rogue and lawless industry. The adoption of cashless transactions will also make the sector crime-proof.

“During your deliberations here today, and in days to come, you will agree on ways of improving safety and enhancing compliance with traffic rules and transport regulations,” the President said.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau commended the industry players for partnering with Government to improve safety on the roads adding that the reforms being instituted in the sector are intended to improve and entrench self-regulation by the operators.

Matatu Owners Association (MOA) Chairman Simon Kimutai on his part said, “with the 1963 card we will be able to address a number of challenges including ensuring that Matatu crews are well paid and have access to NHIF and NSSF”


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