10 matatu operators to be charged with traffic offences

The Universal Policing Unit, a gadget used by NTSA to check digital speed governors on public service vehicles. Ten matatu operators will be charged on March 20, 2017 in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The 10, were among the 45 others that had been accosted by NTSA in an operation that forced the police to shoot in the air to disperse rowdy youths who started pelting them with stones to scuttle the crackdown.
  • Following this latest incident, Mr Simba expressed concern over touts and manambas’ behaviour saying it was turning into ‘criminal gang’ with the sole aim of causing mayhem in the area.

Ten matatu operators will on Monday appear before a Mombasa court to face charges of flouting traffic rules after being arrested during a National Transport and safety Authority crackdown that turned chaotic in Likoni on Saturday.

The 10 were among the 45 others that had been accosted by NTSA in an operation that forced the police to shoot in the air to disperse rowdy youths who started pelting them with stones to scuttle the crackdown.

Trouble started when the officials accompanied by police made an impromptu ‘sting operation’ that caught many operators by surprise before it turned ugly when conductors tried to resist.

Speaking on phone, area OCPD Willy Simba confirmed the incident saying the rowdy youths attacked the police with stones and other crude weapons that forced officers to fire in the air to avert ugly scenes.

“Sensing things might go out of hand my charges acted in the most humane way by firing in the air to scare the youths from causing mayhem at the busy Likoni ferry terminus,” he said adding that those arrested would appear in court on Monday.

In the ensuing commotion, many small-scale traders, bodaboda riders and tuk tuk operators scampered for safety while many PSV vehicles withdrew services on the Likoni-Lunga Lunga road.

Normalcy was however restored as police repulsed the rowdy youths and towed the impounded vehicles to Likoni Police Station.

CRIMINAL GANG

Following this latest incident, Mr Simba expressed concern over touts and manambas’ behaviour saying it was turning into ‘criminal gang’ with the sole aim of causing mayhem in the area.

“This follows a recent incident where bodaboda riders blocked the highway to protest harassment from traffic police and NTSA officials,” he said warning of dire consequences if such acts were not stopped.

Addressing journalists at the scene, the NTSA deputy director Hared Adan said the crackdown would continue to bring sanity on Kenyan roads.

“We cannot compromise on the safety of Kenyans using PSVs that do not adhere to the laid down regulations and following traffic laws,” he added.

According to him the impromptu operation netted 45 vehicles out of which 25 registration numbers were removed and vehicles towed to the police station.

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