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February 22, 2019

I’ve nothing to gain if I torch my buses, says Juja trader

Chania Special Travellers Sacco buses destroyed by fire at Kenyatta Road Estate, Juja, on Sunday /JOHN KAMAU
Chania Special Travellers Sacco buses destroyed by fire at Kenyatta Road Estate, Juja, on Sunday /JOHN KAMAU

A Juja businessman has denied setting ablaze his garage at Kenyatta Road Estate on Saturday night when 12 buses and a lorry were gutted.
Joseph Kamau on Monday said he was not behind the fire that destroyed his PSV vehicles that ply the Thika-Nairobi-Mombasa route.
He spoke at Juja police station after recording a statement with investigators amid speculation that he had torched his vehicles so he could be compensated by his insurance company.
The garage watchman also recorded his statement with the police.
There was speculation that the Chania Special Travelers owner had lost his grip in the transport business and resorted to burning the buses.
The businessman told the Star his vehicles are under the third-party insurance, which cannot compensate him in case of damage due to  fire.
He said he has suffered losses of more than Sh70 million as one bus costs about Sh6 million.
“The rumors are false. I cannot destroy my own property. All the destroyed buses were insured as third parties and I cannot be compensated by the insurance,” Kamau said.
He said he suspects his vehicles were torched by people who want to kick him out of business. Kamau said the buses were undergoing repairs at the garage when they were torched.
Mt Kenya Matatu Owners Association chairman Rufus Kariuki said business rivalry might have led to the fire.
He urged authorities to speed up investigations to establish the cause, motive and individuals behind the fire. “If arsonists were behind the fire, we want them behind bars. We urge police to accelerate investigations and bring to book the perpetrators,” Kariuki said.
He said the association is meeting to strategise how they will assist Kamau get back to business.
Juja police boss Simon Thirikwa said no arrests have been made but investigations are underway.
On Monday, a caretaker, who requested anonymity, said he was awakened by a loud bang at 3am.
“The garage is surrounded by bushes. I suspect that those who started the fire hid there,” he said.

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