Dozens of boda boda operators in Mathira, Nyeri County held a thanksgiving prayer meeting at the weekend following a reduction in the deaths of their members through kidnappings and road accidents.
The chairman of the 3,000-member Mathira Boda boda Association Mr Benjamin Mwangi said: “We decided to spare a moment to thank God through prayers for sparing us misery. We have gone through a very difficult time and it is by His grace that some of us are alive.”
In April this year, the riders in the area made news headlines after their lobby group Mathira boda boda association raised the alarm over rising incidents of their members being killed and their motorbikes being stolen by gangsters posing as clients.
They lost at least six of their colleagues who were murdered in cold blood while about 10 others died in accidents.
The matter escalated when furious riders stormed Karatina level 4 hospital and flushed out two suspected motorcycle robbers and lynched them after overpowering police officers who were guarding the institution.
The patients were suspected to be members of a gang that was involved in the killing of several operators before robbing them of their motorbikes in Mathira West and East sub-counties.
They dragged them outside the hospital gate, beat them up and set their bodies on fire.
The victims of the lynch mob were later buried in a hurriedly organised burial in the wee hours of the morning after the riders threatened to burn their caskets in a bid to prevent them from being buried in their respective homes.
Following the hospital incident, the police came down hard on the riders, launching a major crackdown where about 200 motorbikes were impounded and some 80 riders arrested.
This paralyzed their business as the operators engaged the police in hide-and-seek games for about one week.
The police faulted the operators for taking the law into their own hands while the operators on their part accused the police of failing to apprehend the criminals who were targeting them.
Some of the riders who died at the hands of the gangsters were identified as Timothy Wanjohi Maina, Elisha Wahogo Gathogo, William Kirii Gathu, Ian Wanjohi and Eliud Wambu.