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February 22, 2018

Trader demands Ngilu pays for torched truck

David Kariuki, owner of the truck torched in Kitui, addresses journalists during protests by residents of Kwambira village in Limuru, Kiambu, on Saturday /GEORGE MUGO
David Kariuki, owner of the truck torched in Kitui, addresses journalists during protests by residents of Kwambira village in Limuru, Kiambu, on Saturday /GEORGE MUGO

A Kiambu-based charcoal transporter   yesterday demanded compensation for his truck that was set ablaze in Kitui after it was impounded by police.

David Kariuki’s driver was also arrested for illegal transport of charcoal and possession of forged transport business documents. He was released on Sh10,000 bail.

Kariuki dismissed reports Governor Charity Ngilu has requested talks.

Ngilu denied she wants to talk with Kariuki about compensation. The Kitui assembly has banned  charcoal trade and sand harvesting because they damage the environment. Ngilu says she will enforce the ban and has encouraged residents to help.

She wants those ferrying charcoal charged to deter the trade.

Kariuki said he will not relent until he is compensated because he was conducting legal business. His Mitsubishi Fuso was burnt last Tuesday. 

The lorry was intercepted by youths on the Garissa-Kitui highway. The driver was ordered to a police station. The truck was later torched by youths.

“No one has called to talk,” Kariuki said. “The issue is so big I can’t keep quiet,” he told the Star on the phone.

Kariuki’s driver Joseph Waweru said Ngilu and her team demanded he provide his driving licence, cess permit, association permit and movement permit. The governor’s aides said they were fake, he said.

“I was arrested, taken to Kitui police station and locked up. In the evening, I was called by my turnboy, who told me the lorry had been set ablaze,” he said.

The next morning in a magistrate’s court, he denied forgery of documents. He was  released on bail.

Meanwhile, Limuru MP Peter Mwathi yesterday said he will pursue the case until Ngilu is punished for incitement.

“This young man has done all he could to buy a lorry with a bank loan. Someone incites youths to set it on fire. We won’t rest until Kariuki is compensated and Ngilu faces the full force of the law. She should be behind bars,” he said.

Residents of Kwambira in Limuru, Kiambu county, on Saturday held protests and barricaded the Nairobi-Nakuru highway after learning the torched lorry belonged to one of them — Kariuki.

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