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March 18, 2018

100 drivers arrested in Kitengela clampdown, Mungiki probe underway

Some of the vehicles that police impounded during an operation to sanitise the transport sector in Kitengela, Kajiado County, March 14, 2018. /KURGAT MARINDANY
Some of the vehicles that police impounded during an operation to sanitise the transport sector in Kitengela, Kajiado County, March 14, 2018. /KURGAT MARINDANY

More than 100 PSVs were impounded and their drivers arrested on Wednesday in an operation to sanitise the transport sector in Kitengela, Kajiado County.

County Trade executive Jackline Koin led the operation which APs and county askaris took part in.

Koin said those apprehended will be handed over to police and charged with traffic offences ranging from dropping and picking passengers at the wrong points and causing obstruction.

“We will use our by-laws to charge every law breaker with picking passengers from un-designated areas, an offence which attracts a fine of Sh5,000. The drivers will then be handed over to traffic police who will charge them with obstruction," she said.

Most of those arrested in the operation that began at around 5am were the drivers of tuk tuks, matatus and passenger buses.

The officials attributed the indiscipline of PSV operators to the town's persistent jams.

Koin reported that a high-level security meeting held in Kajiado last week identified Kitengela as a haven for members of the outlawed Mungiki sect.

“We will also investigate allegations that some of the leaders of tuk tuk saccos are members of the outlawed Mungiki sect. We have information they have infiltrated the transport sector and are illegally demanding money from vehicle owners."

The executive further said the crackdown will continue until Friday and that un-roadworthy vehicles and trucks "that are parked all over the town" will also be impounded.

 “We have information that criminals who mug people in the town hide in those lorries at night," she said.

 But she added that truck drivers were assigned a new parking lot and watchmen hired to keep guard. The guards will be paid by the owners of the vehicles."

As part of the operation to streamline transport, Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku ordered the demolition of all structures on road reserves.

Lenku, who issued the order in February, noted that some of the kioks erected on road reserve were havens for criminals.

After the demolition, it turned out that some of his officers had colluded with businessmen to put up the structures after paying colossal amounts of money.

Lenku fired a local ward administrator linked to the saga after investigations revealed the officer had collected “protection” money from the businessmen.

It was reported on March 8 that Mungiki adherents are slowly creeping back and have taken over public transport in Kajiado.

Vehicle owners have to part with huge sums of money as “goodwill” for the cartels to allow them to operate. 

With more than 800 matatus, more than 1,000 tuk tuks, 600 taxis and more than 3,000 boda boda operators across the county, the cartels are minting millions of shillings from the collections.

More on this: Is Mungiki making a comeback in running Kajiado transport

Also read: Sh100,000 compulsory Kajiado PSV operation fee sparks fear of Mungiki rebirth

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