End of an era as Double M buses face auctioneer’s hammer

End of an era: Double M. [Courtesy]

Express Connections Bus Services, the company that owns the famous Double M buses, will go under the hammer.

Yesterday, Philips International Auctioneers announced for auction the property owned by the company in order to collect a bank loan in an undisclosed amount. . The property spans 1,767 acres.

Express Connections owns the Double M bus fleet that operates in and around Nairobi – managed by Mary Wangari-Mwangi, who took over their management after her husband’s death.

Some of the structures erected on the land include two office buildings, a generator, a cafeteria building, a companionway serving as a garage, a toilet block and a sentry. There is also the Ola Energy gas station on the grounds along Jogoo Road.

The company, once hailed as a pioneer in safe and decent public transport, has risen above the widespread indiscipline of the ‘Manyanga’ culture.

The auction is a death blow to the transport companies run by Mary Wangari-Mwangi, which have recently gone through a difficult period.

MD Mary Mwangi Express Connection. [Courtesy]

The company was founded by Ms. Wangari’s husband, John Mugo Mwangi. Mr. Mwangi died in December 2011.

Mary Wangari competed twice for the parliamentary seat of Embakasi East and lost. It is reported that she will make a third stab next year in a bid to fight for the seat of current MP Babu Owino.

The forerunner of what would come to be known as the Michuki Rules was the business that Ms. Mwangi and her husband had started. “The ‘Michuki Rules’ probably should have been called the ‘Mwangi Rules,’ according to a 2013 study by Meghan Elizabeth Ference of the University of Washington in St. Louis.

Double M’s “Express Connection” was once one of the largest bus companies, and unlike others which are franchised by Saccos, it is a family business.

The couple expanded their fleet to over 150 matatus in 2010. They started their matatus manufacturing business in 1979 and entered the passenger transport business seven years later.

Unlike its competitors, Express Connections, which started operations on the Buru Buru line, played no music, issued tickets for each passenger, and only allowed seated passengers.

Double M bus at the Kencom terminus. September 20, 2021. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Staff were trained in their specific roles and were required to wear a uniform consisting of blue shirts, black ties and black vests for drivers and purple shirts for drivers.

They also hired many women and young people who had never worked in the industry before and gave their employees a salary they could count on on a daily basis so that they were less tempted to steal and instead budgeted for their own money. money.

At one point, Ms Mwangi was engaged in a bitter battle with a real estate company that she said built her a substandard hotel after pocketing 168 million shillings.

Easy Properties reportedly reached an agreement with Ms Mwangi through Express Connections in October 2012 to build a four-story hotel with 80 rooms to serve travelers using Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Ms. Mwangi had borrowed most of the money.

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