govt lifestyle

Meet the little-known tycoon who owns the Famous Eldoret Express

The resurgence of Eldoret Express bus company marks a notable revival for a once esteemed entity in Kenya’s public transport domain. Just a short while back, the company appeared to be in terminal decline, with its buses idling in yards nationwide.

These buses, once symbols of luxury, were now adorned with broken windows, tireless rims, dilapidated seats, and cobwebs, starkly contrasting with their former glory days.

Established in 1982 by the forward-thinking Wainana, Eldoret Express began its journey with Nissan UD buses before adopting its current name. Its opulent Scania and Isuzu buses swiftly earned it renown, shuttling passengers across Nairobi, Rift Valley, and Western Kenya.

However, by August 2020, the company found itself in dire straits, as manager Joseph Ng’ang’a revealed that only about 53 vehicles out of an initial fleet exceeding 200 were still operational. The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic worsened matters, precipitating a decline in both passengers and revenue. Consequently, the company had to annually auction off numerous buses, rendering them unfit for service.

Mr. Joseph Ng’ang’a, the operations manager, explained during a prior interview, “We have disposed of many vehicles because we started operating more than 30 years ago. We then identify those from which we can get good spare parts for the vehicles that are still on the road.”

Further complicating matters, the company became embroiled in a 640-acre land ownership dispute in Kitale, stemming from the 2007 post-election violence. However, a ruling by the Supreme Court settled the matter, affirming the company’s ownership and putting an end to a 13-year legal battle.