MCA AVERTS VIOLENT TAKEOVER OF MUKIRITI STAGE, ASSIST YOUTH FORM GROUP

Hospital Ward MCA Hon. Mwangi Wamwangi (JBEE) Tuesday afternoon swiftly moved to avert a possible violent clash between Majengo youth who tout and ferry Makongeni commuters near Mukiriti and Bismillahi passenger points. 

The two feuding groups, the 'marefes', drivers, conductors and some matatu owners on one side and another group of four 'officials' who were running the affairs of that 'shimo' (passenger collection point), in presence of the JBEE and with some input from Joseph Karanja, a Red-Cross official and local politician in the area, managed to come up with a way forward concerning the matter.

The bone of contention was that one group that had been managing the activities on behalf of the rest, was being accused of failing to account for all the moneys collected from the matatus that used their services. It was alleged that since they formed the group eight months ago, the members, especially the touts (or merefes as they popularly known) who typically pestered people into these matatus, had never benefitted from the money collected. All the money ended up being shared among the four, a matter that infuriated the rest of the group. It was also alleged that anyone who raised complains over the issue would be 'set-up' by these guys to the police or county council askaris and be locked in for touting or soliciting illegal money from the members of public. They claimed that the four had formed a cartel to fleece them of their sweat and forcefully rob them off their stage. 

On their part, the four claimed that they were the genuine 'owners' of the 'shimo' thus had the absolute authority over its management. They claimed that the money each matatu was charged on a daily basis was used to cater for the logistics of running the activities of their group. They were not ready to account for it to anyone.

After a very bitter confrontation which lasted for more than four hours at the St. Patricks Primary School's ground, the two moderators managed to contain the situation which had escalated into near fist fight. 

JBEE reminded them that it was him who fought for them to get that 'shimo' when all forces were against their existence. He said it belonged to all of them and noone could claim ownership. He told them from that point on that he was going to take upon himself that the group was run in the right way to benefit all those who contributed in one way or another.

He added that it was the high time they transformed it into a SACCO and ran it professionally like was the case of the other matatu saccos that served various routes in Thika Town. 

JBEE agreed to assist this group of about 80 people, who included some matatu owners, drivers, conductors and the 'marefes', in their registration since they could not be officially allowed to operate along the route without being registered as a matatu sacco as required by law. An interim committee of six officials, three from each wing, was elected by the members to run the affairs of the group pending the official launching of the sacco. It was agreed that  JBEE would assist them open a bank account this week and any money collected would be receipted and banked on a daily basis. 

He insisted that discipline was paramount among the group members, and that anyone who would be reported of misbehaving or mishandling commuters would be suspended therein. 

He concluded to say that, depending on how well they ran their affairs, he would burn the midnight oil to ensure that they benefitted from the numerous opportunities that were available for the youth, in both the county and in the national governments.
 

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