Any interested citizen of Umoja Estates, Nairobi would have noticed that the loud, vulgar, and rowdy Umoinner Sacco buses are few and far in between on route 35/60.
For years, this Sacco was untouchable and they thought that life would continue unchanged based on patronage by youth who loved fancy looking buses and loud music; and adults who didn’t care a dint about disrespect, only wanting to reach home.
Umoinner’s impunity was aided by such as the above as they continued to be reckless on the roads, disregarded agreements on fare amount, and killed a couple of people through reckless driving.
For long, it was thought they couldn’t be challenged. In the first half of 2023, Umoinner gangs even scared the entry of electric buses into the route.
Utimo Sacco, its main competitor was also always timid, well-mannered, and treated clients with respect.
Utimo Sacco now rules the route.
Long lines of passengers on its stage in town near Salt Restaurant attest to loyalty only seen during Double M time.
Passengers in various stages in Umoja Estate, be it Jeska, Jasho, Sango, or Umoja 2 ‘kwa chief’ stand pensively waiting for Utimo to arrive.
Unlike Umoinner, Utimo’s conductors often announce the same fare the passengers will be charged after the bus is full.
For example, Umoinner’s conductors would often announce let’s say Sh50/- but after one board and the bus is full and moving, they would change the cost to Sh80, or announce Sh80 and charge Sh100.
That was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back.
How Umoinner fell
In 2006, after many years of Double M ruling the Umoja – Innercore route 35/60, three touts had an idea to start a competing bus company.
Buruburu route 58 matatus had fallen from grace or were falling, due to the opening up of Sonko Road connecting Umoja and Buruburu estates ar Mutindwa.
As per reports Benjamin Kamau, Christopher Muia and Denis Magwambo, the three touts who were slum dwellers started saving Sh10 daily with the dream of starting a matatu business.
They believed in their dream despite earning an average of Sh400 daily.
So, in 2006, they acquired their first 14-seater matatu for Sh600,000 as reported by who owns kenya.The beginning of the white, orange, and black matatus.
They soon fell on hard times as the government announced a crackdown on 14 seater matatus.
A directive was issued by the Ministry of Transport for matatus to operate in Saccos with at least 30 members.
Through sheer grit, they stepped up, and in no time, the Sacco attracted a fleet of buses that was valued at over Sh500 million by 2015.
The event of 2013 however, dented the matatus business as a collision with a Nairobi-bound train from Ruiru which killed 11 people at Mutindwa, spoiled an already failing image.
From then on, Umoinnner Sacco was synonymous with rogue and fraudulent crew and reckless drivers.
Mastermind, one of Umoinner’s best; caused accidents left right, and center and there was a famous video of reckless driving that made it get banned.
Having deep pockets, the matatus, even after getting banned were always on the road. Turns out big money cannot save you, passengers were watching.
The bad name stuck on Umoinner Sacco like a skunk and no matter which cool matatus they launched, only the youth boarded as adults stayed away.
Sources tell Umoja News that there are squabbles between Umoinner Sacco management and the owners of the buses.
One is accusing the other of mismanagement of the fleet giving it a bad name.
From hiring, bad reviews, living a gang-like lifestyle, and overall bad conduct. Umoinner has a fair share of bad press if one searches online.
A section of bus owners under the sacco have broken away and christened the remaining buses, Umoinner Class.
The word CLASS is meant to woo the passengers who have already moved on to other buses, especially Utimo Sacco.
Historically, this is the end as these remaining attempts by Umoinner to get back patrons seem like Airtel, once expensive, trying to woo customers from the new kid on the block Safaricom, in the early 2000.
Everyone knows how that ended up.
This signals the end of the once boastful, loud, and murderers, Umoinner Sacco
Covering news about Eastlands especially Umoja, Kayole and Buruburu estates