Meet little-known owner of popular Western buses Mbukinya -
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Meet little-known owner of popular Western buses Mbukinya

Mbukinya: A Reliable and Affordable Transport Option in Kenya

For almost 40 years, Mbukinya has been a trustworthy and inexpensive mode of transportation for Kenyans. As one of the oldest and most respected transport service providers in the country, the company offers passenger and parcel services across major routes and long distances. Its headquarters are situated in Landhies Road, Starehe, Nairobi County, and its large fleet of buses comprises vehicles from various manufacturers. Paul Mburu Muthumbi, the founder of Mbukinya, established the company.

Muthumbi was born and raised in Limuru, a town in central Kenya. During his secondary school years, he shared with his peers his dream of becoming a successful investor in Kenya’s transport sector. His friends dismissed his aspirations, but Muthumbi was determined to prove them wrong. He was captivated by the buses that passed through his village and developed a passion for the transport industry. After completing his education, he ventured into small businesses to raise money to start his own transport company. Despite coming from a modest family, Muthumbi did not want to seek employment, and his peers laughed at his plans.

After 11 years of saving, Muthumbi used Sh. 6,000 to buy his first bus, a second-hand vehicle. With a loan of Sh. 5,000, he began operating the bus between Limuru and Nairobi. Later, he sold the bus and acquired a second-hand Mercedes Benz bus. He drove the bus and had hired a conductor. As his full-time business, he got better at it day by day. In 1972, he bought his first new bus and explored long-distance routes involving Kisumu and Kakamega. The new bus enabled him to operate for 24 hours and rapidly grow his business. By the 1980s, he had 48 buses, making him one of the most significant transport operators in the country. However, he downsized in the 1990s due to high insurance premiums. In 2014, he increased the fleet to 39 after acquiring 21 Hino buses from Toyota Kenya.

Currently, Mbukinya is run by Muthumbi’s children, led by the eldest, who is reportedly 70 years old. The bus company primarily operates along the Western Kenya to Nairobi, Nyanza to Nairobi, and Nairobi to Mombasa routes. The company maintains competitive and affordable charges in line with industry trends.