By Ongalo James Jr
It is business unusual at the Government transport agency NTSA following drastic staff changes that have seen services effectively carried out. Unlike previous days, services although yet to pick up are being delivered efficiently regardless of whether it is tea or lunch breaksomething that is not common in government offices.
Few weeks ago, the Authority’s Board made a reshuffle that saw staff swapped. The most affected departments are Registration and Licensing, Motor Inspection, ICT and partly Road Safety. There are reports that there are plans to reorganise the whole institution.
The shake up is expected to extend even to NTSA offices outside Nairobi as the government aligns NTSA operations within the Ministry of Interior. In the new staff changes over 50 inspectors have so far been moved to new centres.
The reorganization includes the transfer of more than 200 employees from their stations to new workstations-a process that began mid-March and will continue in May This involves the transfer of sixteen staff in the Motor Vehicle Inspector I (MVC In-Charges) category, 49 Motor Vehicles Inspectors II and III.
The biggest casualty are officers and clerks with 162 having already moved with immediate effect. The changes were effected following a Board meeting in Mombasa. LT. General (Rtd) Jackson Waweru leads NTSA board.
The changes come in the wake of increased scrutiny at the agency following mounting cases of double registration of motor vehicles-which experts say is a threat to national security.
Since the Dust 2 terror strike in Nairobi and later realisation that the vehicle involved had a registration number similar to another vehicle seized in Kitengela, security agents have been monitoring activities at the Authority.
In January, a number of staff including two senior managers were arrested and arraigned in court for aiding terrorism. The said employees have since been redeployed to regional offices in different departments regardless of their gender, position or level of qualifications.
Beside director for Road Safety and Registration and Licensing, the organisation has announced vacancies in other departments. The said positions include Deputy Directory Supply Chain, Deputy Director Motor Vehicle Inspection and Manager Supply Chain and Manager ICT.
Being a road safety Regulator, NTSA is a crucial government agency. Road carnage has been a problem in Kenya and we can only hope that the changes will work towards strengthening the institution and not weakening it.
On average, Kenya loses about 3,000 people to road crashes. Statistics show that pedestrians are the most vulnerable class of road users.