Rules are rules...

We all have rules that govern our work, school and even home, that set of spoken or unspoken laws that shouldn't be broken lest we are to face the consequences. In life we all adhere to some code or rule.
This is true in all areas of life except the Kenyan roads; here amid the cars, carts, busses and pedestrians the rules so carefully followed elsewhere in life are thrown out the window like old cigarette butts and chewed gum to be stepped on with little regard to all else.
The colourful and expressive often artfully graphitised death traps. These relatively inexpensive four wheeled health hazards trundle along breaking every traffic law known to man. These moving exhibitions are to seat only 14 passengers but drivers and touts jam 24 or more. Standing and packed like sardines these matatus move at break-neck speeds down pot hole riddled city streets, the only rule these dare devil drivers is that of the traffic lights - if and when they work.
These metal traps are possibly the noisiest vehicles on four wheels. The music - if I dare to call it that - can easily leave one with a massive headache and partial deafness and a definite ringing in the ears.
This disorder and utter chaos was to come to an end with the advent of laws put in place by John Michuki a few years ago when he was the transport minister... in this position he implemented - for a while at least (while he was in office, when Murungaru took on the docket, out went the rules) - rules that forced matatu owners to install speed governors into their cars to regulate their speeds and reduce the numerous accidents they cause. He also decreed that touts and drivers were to wear clean uniforms and that the matatues had to be fitted with seat belts - if this rule was to pass it would mean that only 14 people were allowed per vehicle. We all know where those rules went; to the bin in a hurry!
That was just two years ago; now the tough talking minister is back and in his post as minister of Environment Michuki has caused havoc for all manner of noise makers whose noise is polluting the environment.
One of the first groups to face michuki's wrath are those in the public transport sector who will now have to pay hefty fines for not only their shouting for customers and head banging, ear busting music but also for stopping at an unmarked bus stop - roughly 15,000 or more - or face an extended stay in the confines of a cold hard cell.
The matatu drivers and touts obviously differed with these decrees as they engaged in a strike that saw Nairobians put one foot in front of the other and march to work, the few matatus that were working overcharged the desperate walkers.
This act of defiance - juvenile as it may be - came as no surprise mainly because the minister is trying to enforce rules and order to an unruly and chaotic lot.

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