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January 22, 2019

Cops pursue rogue matatu drivers

Caught on camera driving recklessly and dangerously in Nairobi CBD on Sunday at Central police station yesterday.Photo.Ezekiel Aminga
Caught on camera driving recklessly and dangerously in Nairobi CBD on Sunday at Central police station yesterday.Photo.Ezekiel Aminga

The licences of matatu drivers caught on camera driving recklessly and dangerously in Nairobi’s CBD on Sunday could be revoked and the vehicles banned from the roads.

The incident caused chaos in the Central Business District, rendering it a no-go zone to motorists.

The National Transport and Safety Authority has said it is considering harsh punishment for the drivers and the saccos that own the vehicles.

Director general Francis Meja yesterday said the authority is waiting for the report from Central police station before taking action.

“We are waiting for police to give us a detailed report so we can take appropriate actions. Once we have seen the details, then we can know the next course of action,” Meja said.

Yesterday, police impounded the vehicle that rammed their chase car during the fracas on Moi Avenue.

Central police station OCPD Robinson Thuku said they have traced and impounded the vehicle – KCM 261S – belonging to Nawasuku Sacco.

“We followed the vehicle and found it in Kahawa Sukari. It plies Githurai route and we towed it to our station. We are now pursuing the driver through the sacco,” he said.

Thuku said they have the registration details of at least 10 vehicles that were involved in the incident and will be pursuing their operators too.

Moi Avenue was on Sunday turned into a lawless street as matatu drivers from different saccos engaged in a brazen show of impunity.

They drove the vehicles dangerously in total disregard of traffic laws, oblivious of the danger they were exposing themselves and others.

They sped on the road with youths hanging dangerously on the vehicles, endangering the lives of other motorists and pedestrians.

Police who went to clear the streets fell victim of the drivers’ reckless and careless acts.

A police chase car was hit and rear bumper and boot destroyed by one of the matatus.

Yesterday, the Matatu Owners Association condemned the incident and demanded that police take action against the drivers.

Chairman Simon Kimutai defended the vehicle owners and appeared to lay blame on NTSA for licensing “rogue” driver with no training to operate on the roads.

“Police should apprehend these people and take them to court. Why should people be carried on top of vehicles and disrupt peace in the city?” he asked.

“We employ drivers like any other. The people who licence them are the government. These are people who do not have any form of training. I’m on record telling the government to allow for at least some form of training.”

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