Nairobi Matatu Operators boss Jamal Ibrahim, popularly known as Jamal Roho Safi is eyeing the Nairobi gubernatorial.
Jamal told the Star that he aims to improve transport and create jobs given that he has been in the matatu industry for 11 years and has served as the association’s chairman for five years.
He also intends to tackle the water and healthcare challenges.
“There is a big problem in the transport department but since I have already understood the problems people face, I will be in a better position to govern the city,” he said.
He avers that East Africa’s hub that is Nairobi needs a good and young manager who understands what most people go through.
“This city cannot be managed by an old person. I am 30 years and as a youth, I interact with most of them on a daily basis and I understand what they go through before they earn a living.”
“We have old people who only sit in their offices and rarely understand what is happening on the ground,” Jamal said.
As governor, he will raise parking fees and make all matatus efficient.
“This will decongest the city. The city is congested by personal cars. For people to use public vehicles, they must be reliable and clean.”
Jamal said he has been in communication with former Governor Mike Sonko who has promised to support him. Jamal started out as a tout and later bought a used matatu that operated on the Nairobi-South C route.
Speaking during an interview on April 19, he said that he pocketed Ksh 420,000 which he was given to enroll in a local aviation school.
Jamal would stay with his siblings in Nairobi’s South C area because his parents lived in Kajiado and didn’t know whether or not he had been admitted.
With the ‘tout’ income, he topped the Ksh 420,000 and bought a used matatu that operated on the Nairobi-South C route.
“I continued working as a tout on a different matatu and gave my vehicle to a team who would give me money at the end of the day,” he explained.
When the late Minister John Michuki ordered the enforcement of Michuki rules, Jamal decided to comply as other PSVs went on strike. He registered his Telaviv Sacco, applied for a TLB license, and ensured that his matatu was on the roads, much to the anger of his colleagues.
“After a few days, some owners approached me and asked how I was able to operate despite the tough rules. I registered their cars into my Sacco and they got the required clearance and soon other owners followed,” the businessman intimated.
After a while, he started demanding payment of Ksh 500 from all the vehicles he had registered and would receive as much as Sh30,000k in a day.
After saving most of the money, Jamal was able to invest more vehicles in the industry, expanding his influence.
“I have seven SACCOs operating in and outside Nairobi and 16 PSVs for both short and long-distance travel,” the matatu boss revealed.
Apart from the matatu industry, Jamal has also invested in online businesses and technology
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