It is one of the saddest stories in Kenya’s transport sector. An Iconic, well run bus company, is set to be brought to it’s knees following a raging family war that will leave it’s founder Shahid Pervez Butt roll in his grave.
Sources within the transport industry have intimated to Mombasa411 that Haroun Butt, son of the late founder and the man credited with steering what is arguably East Africa’s finest bus company, is set to remain with one half of the company, with his step mum and the widow of the slain founder, Regine Butt, remaining with the other half.
In essence it’s not yet clear how the company will be split but it is already a known fact that the recent opening of an extra office along River Road in Nairobi is a pointer to the the direction the company is taking.
Already, someone with a keen eye will notice the rebranding that is currently ongoing, albeit at a snail’s pace of some of the buses…with some buses lacking branding altogether…. Also some buses are spotting different telephone numbers at the back while also the websites are different.
Sources say the new companies might be called Modern Coast Kenya Limited and Modern Africa Kenya Ltd.
It is reported that Mrs. Regine Butt who will own one half of Modern Coast, is already looking at an experienced hand to run the company and is said to have approached Spanish Bus owner, Osman, to form a merger and let him run the new bus outfit.
If Osman agrees to the merger, the new bus company is set to be called Modern Spanish Express Limited.
It’s worthy to note that Osman’s Spanish Bus company has for a long time now struggled to stay afloat with the latest sucker punch being having two of it’s buses detained and forfeited to the owner of OilLibya Kengeleni Branch, over a 18 million Kes Fuel debt. The buses have since been re-branded and now are named Kally’s Coaches but are yet to start operations.
Also, it is understandable why Mrs Regine Butt would go for Osman to run her new bus company: Osman is the man who founded and ran Modern Coast Express Limited, before he crossed path with the founder and resigned to start Spanish Bus.
The decision to split the family business which also includes a logistics operation through Vantage Point Clearing and Forwarding and Vantage Road Transporters, serving clients transporting cargo to and from the port of Mombasa, Blue Bell Properties and Premac Properties, comes after a recent case in court pitting the families of the two wives of the slain businessman.
His second wife Mrs Regine Butt had made an application seeking to be paid Sh1.5 million monthly from the businessman’s estate to meet her living expenses, including Sh200,000 for fuel and vehicle maintenance.
She also wanted Sh1.05 million each year to pay school fees for her two children who are studying at a private school in Mombasa.
Mrs Butt said she and her mother, Roselinde Gudrun Ostertag, are unemployed and depended on the late businessman. Butt’s first wife Mrs Akhtar Butt and her son Haroon were named as interested parties in the case.
Sooner, rather than soon, expect to see two new bus companies, born of the same womb, competing for passengers along our roads….and when you do, remember, you read it first, on Mombasa411.
To contact the author: Mombasa411@gmail.com