The Association of Matatu Operators chairman and a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto Mr Jimal Ibrahim is on the spot for allegedly trying to sabotage Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) director general Major Mohammed Badi.
According to reports, Mr Ibrahim who owns Arabab Investments, has the blessings of cartels at the City Hall, who are eager to control the matatu sector for Ruto ahead of 2022 elections.
The Hustler camp is keen to use Ibrahim as the point man in the sector, since he has influence over several matatu saccos plying South B, Eastleigh, Jogoo Road, Donholm and Outering Road routes.
Ibrahim is said to have held meetings with other matatu saccos inciting them to oppose Badi’s bid to decongest the city by stopping matatus from operating within the central business district.
First, Ibrahim started by issuing a strike notice against the government’s directive to have limited passenger capacity in matatus and PSVs. The strike never materialised.
It reached a point Ibrahim promised a nationwide strike of matatus on October 25, which never happened.
“On Tuesday, across the country, all matatus must go on strike. I would like to tell our leaders, Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, they have neglected our matatu industry. When they visit places, they always talk about boda boda, they talk about bars and churches but they have forgotten the matatu industry. The reason we are striking on Tuesday is because of capacity. Since Covid-19 hit eight months ago, they have not addressed the matatu industry urging for the resumption of full capacity,” he said.
Ibrahim boasts of protection from senior officers of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) since he is into car importation business.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that he has been evading taxes in his businesses, most of which he runs through proxies.
Due to his protection by top officials, the claims have not been investigated.