NTSA suspends Memba Sacco after crew kills woman in Juja

A photo of Ms Judy Wanjiku, who died on February 08, 2021 at a Thika Hospital after being pushed out of a matatu.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

The road safety agency has suspended operations of Memba Travellers Sacco following the death of a passenger after she was thrown out of a moving vehicle by the crew.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) ordered all public transport vehicles under Memba Travellers Sacco Society to cease operations immediately.

All the officials of the sacco were also summoned to appear before the authority.

“The vehicles belonging to the sacco be subjected to a compliance inspection at the NTSA inspection centre at Likoni road, Nairobi,” the statement from NTSA added.

NTSA warned that only vehicles that will be cleared by the inspection unit will be allowed back on the road.

“The authority will conduct compliance checks to ascertain that the sacco meets the NTSA requirements for operation of public transport,” the statement added.

Ms Judy Wanjiku died on Sunday, a day after she was thrown out of one of the sacco’s matatus.

Rogue crew

The Equity Bank Ruiru branch employee was pushed out of a Mwea-bound matatu by rogue crew in Juja on Saturday, some 30 minutes after she had boarded the vehicle in Ruiru.

The 26-year-old, whose career was just taking off and who was to wed later this year, hit her head on the tarmac and was dead less than 18 hours later, in a row over Sh100 additional fare.

Ms Wanjiku, a beneficiary of Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly scholarship programme for bright and needy students, boarded the matatu in Ruiru at around 6.30pm for Mwea in Kirinyaga.

According to family members, when she boarded the vehicle -- registration number KCZ 729C -- she quarrelled with the driver and two touts over an increase in the fare.

Witnesses told police that Ms Wanjiku had agreed to pay Sh400 and handed over a Sh500 note. But when the matatu got to Juja, the crew refused to give her back her change, prompting the quarrel. The vehicle stopped and the driver ordered her to alight.

The fare between Ruiru and Juja is usually Sh60, but the driver said she would have to pay Sh200.

In his weekly Twitter engagement with Kenyans on Monday, Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai said the driver of the vehicle was still at large and the police are in pursuit.

He assured Kenyans that action would be taken against the culprits involved in the death of Ms Wanjiku.

“We have not arrested the driver and his conductor but we have traced the vehicle and towed it to a police station. Efforts to arrest the two are ongoing,” said Juja police commander Beatrice Migarusha.

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