High court has declined to lift a suspension imposed on matatu Marimba Investment Sacco after a fleet crew killed a motorist in Nairobi.

Justice Roslyn Aburili rejected a request to quash a decision by NTSA to suspend all matatus operating under Marimba Investment Sacco.

Joseph Ng’ethe Kiarie’s  family has been demanding justice after he was beaten to death by a matatu crew on Christmas Eve in Nairobi after an altercation when the matatu grazed his car.

A conductor, high on drugs, is said to have jumped out of the matatu and clobbered Ng’ethe, 33, a former Maseno University student leader on the head using an iron bar as he engaged the driver in an argument.

NTSA suspended the Sacco after the murder incident.

Justice Aburili said the Sacco rushed to court before pursuing alternative methods to challenge the decision which are spelt out clearly in the constitution.

The judge said the court would not be drawn into usurping the powers of NTSA appeals board which should have been the first Port of Call if the Sacco felt aggrieved.

Seeming impunity

Justice Aburili questioned the mischief behind seeking a court injuction, irrespective of existing internal appeal mechanisms readily available to the Sacco, likening it the seeming impunity and recklessness that characterises the PSV industry.

She was categorical that once alternative dispute resolution mechanisms have been made available, “such cannot be bypassed.”

The judge said NTSA was within its mandate to revoke the licences in the face of violation of conduct for the “greater good adding that courts would exercise restraint in entertaining such matters…”

“It is not sufficient to allege that (sic) the NTSA decision was outrageous and unreasonable,” the judge ruled.

She said the decision was made within the parameters of the NTSA Act.

Road carnage

Moreover, the judge said the PSV sector requires dialogue in light of the indiscipline and road carnage that has claimed many lives in the country.

Dialogue, she said is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, and in this case, squarely places the NTSA appeals board at hand to resolve the Sacco grievance.

“I am in agreement that the NTSA appeals board has the mandate to deal with the issue and resolve it amicably,” the judge said.

She scoffed at the Sacco saying: any party that resists alternative dispute resolution exhibits impunity which cannot be supported by a court of law.”

The judge also rejected a prayer that NTSA bears the costs of the case.