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Witeithie Matatu, Bodaboda Operators Fight over Terminus

A matatu and a motorcycle (Inset) that were destroyed during a confrontation between matatu and bodaboda operators at Witeithie Stage.
Several people were injured, vehicles and bodaboda bikes destroyed on Tuesday when matatu and bodaboda operators engaged in running battles in Witeithie Estate over stage and fare.

Trouble started on Monday afternoon when bodaboda operators went at Witeithie Stage, removed and destroyed matatu route sign board from the Thika - Witeithie - Nairobi Sacco matatus before ejecting them from the stage where the two rivals operate from. Later in the day, the Witeithie, Kimuchu, Kamuthi bodaboda Sacco members chased away some of the matatus and beat up two drivers after intercepting them near Malaba area.

According to TWN Sacco discipline master, P. Kariuki the bodaboda people also robbed a woman driver unknown amount of cash. He said two vehicles were destroyed. 

As tension heightened police from Witeithie led by Inspector John Kamau moved in and maintained law and order. On Tuesday, both warring parties engaged in running battles after two bikes and some number of vehicles belonging to WKK Sacco were allegedly destroyed by TWN Sacco. 

Riot police led by Inspectors John Kamau (AP Witeithie Camp) Inspector Charles Muasy (AP Juja), Inspector Daniel K. Kamau (officer in charge of crime Juja Police Station) and local Chief Muiruri Mucui intervened to quell more trouble. 

Kiambu County Officials led by local administrator James Gichuru, Juja Roads Inspector Margaret Karanja and Juja Social Officer Willy Gitiba visited the scene and convened a crisis meeting between the officers and the warring parties to resolve the matter. The meeting was punctuated by counter accusations. John Kamau, Wikiki Sacco Secretary said they were being abused, attacked and belittled by their rivals. He said their competitor was also lowering fare threatening the bodaboda business.
Juja Sub-County Roads Inspector Margaret Karanja and other security officers tries to cool the tempers of the warring parties at Witeithie stage.

Juja Police Station OC Crime Dan Kamau said officials of the Saccos must instill discipline and register members. Administrator James Gichuru said officials of the Sacco had lost grip of their members. He said everyone has a right to make a living. 

Chief Mucui said officials should have authority over members. He said it was unfortunate that members could arm themselves to the teeth without the knowledge of officials. "Some of these youth are under influence of substance and must be contained," the Chief said. 

Gichuru said any Sacco that will engage in lawlessness would be de-registered with individual taking responsibility.

“We will not turn our county into a banana county,” he said.

Gatiba said touting and harassing of commuters would not be tolerated. 

Later on, the matatu Sacco was temporary moved to Witeithie open air market just a few metres from their bike rivals. The market Chairman Eliud Njoroge said they had no issue with the matatus from operating there. Juja Sub-County Roads Inspector who is in charge of stages, said if the two Saccos don't respect/maintain law and order they would be kicked out of stage. Business were closed on Tuesday during the running battle. 

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