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New laws, bigger bribes in Kenya

2012-12-13 08:49

HAKUNA MATATU: Kenyan 'Matatu' taxi drivers and more so their wallets, are feeling the sting of new traffic laws.

TOM ODULA

NAIROBI, Kenya - Traffic bribes are a way of life for many Kenyan drivers. A dollar here, five there, but minibus taxi drivers say Kenya's new traffic laws, which carry higher fines and longer jail terms, will result primarily in one thing: higher bribes.

Your could call it legal inflation.

Driving in Kenya is a nightmare. Few road junctions have traffic lights or stop signs, creating a snarly mess. And 'matatu' taxi drivers drive on the wrong side of the road.

HARSHER PENALTIES

The new law, which was in effect as of December 7 2012, increases fines and jail terms for lawless driving.

Matatu Owners' Association chairman Simon Kimutai said that immediately after the laws came into effect police began demanding higher bribes.

Where they used to ask for the equivalent of R20, he said, they now want R100 for a minor offence and R1000 for a major offence. 

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