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Matatu operators fight increased insurance premiums

Matatu operators on Thursday moved to court to challenge enforcement of newly increased insurance premiums to Public Service Vehicles.

The Matatu Welfare Association, together with over 100 matatu Saccos sued Invesco Insurance Company, Direct line Assurance, the Insurance Regulatory Authority and the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI).

Through lawyer Evans Ondieki, they argued that they have invested billions of shillings in the matatu sector and public transport hence they stand to suffer irreparably.

They alleged that the sued parties’ decision to increase premiums would greatly undermine their business growth.

They also alleged the move would consequently lead to the loss of more than 100,000 jobs which would in turn impact greatly on security.

“Matatu operators have been devastated because their source of livelihood and wellbeing has been undermined and most of their vehicles have been impounded,” Mr Ondieki said.

According to the Matatu Association’s chairman Dickson Mbugua, the move is unlawful, arbitrary and unreasonable since the process that led to it was not conducted in a transparent manner.

He claimed that there have been a reduced number of accidents between 2012-2016 yet there are no corresponding reduction of insurance rates, charge fees and licenses.

The old rates were Sh7, 817 until November 29 when it went up to Sh9,005.

He disclosed that his association has written to the President as well as the opposition while seeking redress since the sued parties have allegedly failed to create a forum to address their concerns on the issue.

‘We have a legitimate expectation to a decent life and happiness through genuine business in the public transport yet the new rates undermine these values,” Mr Mbugua said.

They want the court to issue orders which will temporarily halt the implementation of the new rates until their case is heard and determined.

They also want the matter considered as urgent and heard on a priority basis.

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