Kenya PSV Extortionists Are Back At Bus Stops

The late John Michuki

Some of the PSV’s crews who attempted to defy gangs would find themselves in serious trouble, many were sadly beheaded by the groups that thrived on collecting easy money from matatus and buses

By The Weekly Vision Online

Public transport “route managers” who made a fortune without breaking a sweat during the early years of President Mwai Kibaki’s administration, are back in full force, manning public transport stops with an iron fist.

The bold-faced route managers met a heavy blow from the then tough-talking public transport minister the late John Michuki who cracked the whip on rowdy matatus and harshly kicked out the extortionist gangs from bus stops countywide. Some of the PSV’s crews who attempted to defy gangs would find themselves in serious trouble, many were sadly beheaded by the groups that thrived on collecting easy money from matatus and buses.


Mr Michuki had introduced order into the industry by forcing drivers and touts, used to having their way into wearing uniforms with badges, carrying only seated passengers and installing speed governors in their vehicles

In 2009-10, John Michuki dealt harshly with the groups deploying heavily armed police officers who clashed with the gangs leaving several of them dead and others seriously injured. At one time, Mr Michuki warned parents to take away their sons from the streets or else find their bodies in “morgues”! The gangs vanished leaving PSV operators to carry out their work undisturbed, but have returned.

PSV gangs are back

When Mr Michuki died in 2011, the gangs openly celebrated by hooting and cheering until late into the night! Mr Michuki had introduced order into the industry by forcing drivers and touts, used to having their way into wearing uniforms with badges, carrying only seated passengers and installing speed governors in their vehicles. During President Moi’s era, the matatus packed passengers likes sacks of potatoes those seated were unable to stretch or breath as standing passengers stood in their faces! Those who complained were arrogant told to “buy their vehicles”!

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