Lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui with member of bus owners outside Milimani Law Court.
BY SAM ALFAN.
FEW hours before the requirement for all PSV Vehicles to install a cashless payment system on their vehicles, the hearing on the same is set for tomorrow even as Matatu operators challenge the new regulations in court saying that there is no regulatory framework for the Near Field Communications System devices which are required for a cashless payment system.
Through their lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui the stakeholders argue that it is only the central bank of Kenya which has mandate to operate the Cashless-Payment System.
“Article 232(2) of the constitution designates the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) as the sole entity responsible for formulating monetary policy, promoting price stability, issuing currency and performing other functions conferred by an act of the parliament.” Submits Lawyer Kinyanjui in is submissions.
They argue that the transport Cabinet Secretary and NTSA cannot usurp the role of CBK as envisaged under the Central Bank Act. Stakeholders have raised concern over security mechanisms of the system and cost imposed by the new cashless payment system.
They insist that Public Transport industry is already overtaxed by the Government and that the ministry is keen on driving them out of business to create room for preferred operators.
The matter which is scheduled for hearing tomorrow before Justice George Odunga was filed in March this year where bus operators moved to court to also challenge night travel ban.
Lawyer Kinyanjui further submit that, the implantation of such “cashless” fare payment system further demands the erection of security mechanisms which must factor into the operability of the system an analysis of cost of costs versus benefits.
He also added that parliament was not given opportunity to scrunize and debate on the costs imposed by such a payment system and who is to bear the infrastructural costs Kenya was supposed to implement the cashless fare system on July 1 however; the Matatu Welfare Association has asked the Kenyan government to give them more time to implement the service, citing lack of awareness in the general public.
Matatu owners in Nakuru have asked the Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau to suspend the implementation of the cashless fare payment system set to be adopted by all Public Service Vehicles (PSV) and address their concerns first.
Citing lack of public awareness, high cost of the new equipment among other impediments, the owners said they are already reading mischief in the speed with which the government is using police crack downs in Nairobi to push for compliance.
Representing the over 4, 000 matatu owners in Nakuru town, Nakuru Central Matatu Sacco chairman Steven Muli argued that they need more time as the system is new and the process of fixing the new digital equipment is equally time-consuming and expensive.
The matter to be heard tomorrow before justice Odunga.