, KANGUNDO, Kenya, Aug 30 – President Mwai Kibaki has directed the police to take firm action against errant drivers and prosecute them.
President Kibaki instructed the traffic police to rid Kenyan roads of careless drivers who cause deaths of innocent citizens and untold suffering to surviving members of their families.
The President issued the directive at Kawethei Primary School grounds, Kangundo district when he attended an interdenominational requiem mass of 15 of the 23 people who perished last week along the Mbooni road.
Earlier, at Tala Township on his way to attend the funeral service, the President called for concerted efforts among all stakeholders to eradicate the menace on Kenyan roads which are being rehabilitated at a huge cost.
He asserted that the tragic accident was as a result of carelessness and drunkenness by the driver causing terrible anguish and loss to immediate families and the nation at large.
The Head of State regretted that many families had suffered immense grief by losing their beloved ones because of the careless driving.
Urging Kenyans to take responsibility of their safety on the roads, President Kibaki underscored that drivers must uphold the sanctity of human life while transporting passengers.
He warned drivers against speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol adding that the objective of driving is to arrive in the intended destination safely.
Speaking during the solemn occasion, Prime Minister Raila Odinga offered his solace to the affected families adding that the news of the grisly accidents and loss of many lives shocked him tremendously.
He decried the increased road accidents across the country and affirmed that the impact of some accidents could be reduced especially through avoidance of overloading.
The Prime Minister noted that tuk-tuks and motor cycles had also become a major cause of accidents countrywide.
He called for stringent implementation of the country’s traffic rules and urged police to desist from endangering the lives of members of the public by accepting bribes and allowing overloaded and unroadworthy vehicles to ferry passengers on the roads.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka regretted that the tragedy occurred after a ceremony of joy and happiness in the form of paying dowry to in-laws.
The Vice President noted that despite the immediate generous assistance extended to affected families some immense pain would stalk the families for some time.
He called for the creation of a credible trust committee to coordinate future assistance to the survivors of the accidents especially for the children who are in school.
On his part Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi termed the occasion a sad day set aside to console the bereaved families adding that all leaders stood in solidarity with affected families. He also delivered a consolation message from the minister for transport, Amos Kimunya.
He affirmed that flimsy reasons must not be used to justify disasters that contribute to loss of innocent lives and called on Kenyans to stand firm against manmade tragedies. He equally supported firm implementation of the Michuki rules which reigned on careless driving and immensely reduced road accidents.
Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi noted that death has an ugly face and a beautiful face too because it is the gateway to meet our heavenly creator.
Speaking during the occasion, area Member of Parliament, Johnson Muthama thanked President Kibaki for the special assistance extended to the affected families and the larger region of Ukambani since the tragedy hit the village.
Thanking the Government for footing the burial expenses, Mr Muthama disclosed that over Sh8.5 million had been raised to cater for the burial expenses whose cost was estimated at Sh3.5 million.
In attendance were several assistant ministers, former and serving legislators from various parts of the country, senior government officials and members of the clergy from all denominations.