Commuters stranded along Thika-Nairobi highway following Kenya Mpya-bodaboda standoff


Commuter transport along Thika-Nairobi Highway was on Tuesday temporarily paralysed after a standoff between bodaboda operators and Kenya Mpya bus company.

This followed an accident on Monday night involving a Kenya Mpya bus that claimed the life of a bodaboda rider at the Thika flyover near Ngoingwa estate.

The bodaboda operators blocked all Kenya Mpya buses, denying them access into or out of Thika town. They took hostage of the Kenya Mpya stages at the Thika main bus terminus, Makongeni terminus and also chased them away at Gatitu and Witeithie areas. In the process, several buses had their windscreens and windows smashed.

It took the intervention of the Thika Police to restore normalcy, in some instances, drawing some cat and mouse chase.

An afternoon of intense negotiations between the police and the bodaboda operators eventually resolved that the driver of the bus that crushed the deceased rider be arraigned to answer for his offence.

The driver was arrested and detained, with the bus getting impounded.

Eventually, calm was restored and the buses allowed back on the road.

The bodaboda operators accused the crew of this bus company of being so arrogant and careless on the road, a behaviour they said had caused numerous accidents, deaths and others getting impaired.

"These drivers are so careless and operate with a lot of impunity. We wonder if these people are above the law. They disregard all other road users," said one of the riders.

According to the riders, the deceased, who operates with 2TKY Sacco on Kwame Nkrumah road at the Gathimaini stage, met his death at around 8pm on Monday night when the bus overlapped to his lane and smashed him, throwing him about 30 metres off the road. 

The driver is then said to have sped off and left the scene of the accident.

"The deceased was crashed so badly. It was so sad. He had just been called to pick a client at Ngoingwa but this bus was driven to his lane, ending his life on the spot," explained another rider.

They called on the authorities to tame all rogue drivers and ensure the safety of all other road users. 

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