A vehicle transporting seven Ethiopian nationals overturned in Murang’a South on Monday morning, killing the driver on the spot and injuring the passengers.
The driver was said to have been speeding when he lost control of the vehicle and ended up in a 20-foot ditch.
Murang’a South police boss Alexander Shikondi said the accident occurred in the St Michael area, near the sub-county headquarters in Kenol.
The injured were rushed to nearby public and private hospitals and placed under police guard while the damaged vehicle was towed to the Makuyu Police Station.
The male driver had an employee card that resembled those issued to members of an elite security agency.
Witnesses said that an armed man, who appeared to be Kenyan, escaped from the scene immediately after the accident.
Police said the search is on for the man. Reports indicate that he boarded a Thika town-bound matatu and he was limping.
The survivors, aged between 20 and 32, did not speak Swahili or English, only expressing themselves in Amharic.
Mr Shikondi added that the body of the driver was taken to the General Kago Hospital mortuary in Thika town.
The security agency was notified so as to confirm whether he was their employee.
Intelligence reports indicate the existence of a human trafficking network that specialises in smuggling foreign nationals into Kenya and through to Nairobi.
The smuggling is executed in three phases.
“The aliens are collected from Kenyan borders and transported through Meru County, and the Kambiti area of Murang’a South is the first stop,” said a security officer, who asked not to be named.
“Another racket player picks them up and delivers them to Thika. From Thika they are picked up by the last conveyor, who delivers them into Eastleigh, where citizenship is acquired corruptly.”
Nation.Africa was told that the racket is facilitated by a network of security officers, politicians and businessmen.
“So moneyed is the racket that some families along the Kenol-Sagana road opt to sleep in the cold so that the aliens can hide in their houses as they wait to be collected for onward conveyance,” the source said.
“It is a highly guarded racket and only comes to the fore when an accident involving the transporting vehicles occurs or when there is rivalry among security agents when sharing the spoils, some leading to arrests.”
Mr Shikondi said the accident was being investigated, adding that preliminary findings were not adding up.
“We are interested to know how the vehicle that ordinarily would be transporting aliens to Nairobi was involved in the accident while heading in the opposite direction of Sagana,” he said.
He also said the vehicle had several bullet holes on its rear side and police want to find out how and why the vehicle was shot at.
“It is a serious issue of both local and national security and we are according it the seriousness it deserves,” he said.