NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has kicked off a legal storm against Traffic Police Commandant Samuel Kimaru, seeking to remove him from office due to the persistent tragic road accidents that have claimed about 2,900 lives between January and October.
In the suit filed at the Mombasa High Court on Thursday, LSK wants Kimaru declared unfit to hold office and wants him sacked from the police force because lives are being lost on Kenyan roads under his watch.
The National Police Service Commission has also been listed as a respondent in the case in which Kimaru is being accused of abusing power and neglecting his statutory duties.
“Neglect of duty by the Traffic Commandant and the NPSC leads to loss of over 3,000 lives on the road annually. Over 1,725 people lost their lives on the road between January and July 16, 2013 alone,” LSK claimed in its suit papers.
This comes a day after a rogue UmoInner bus driver attempted to jump railway tracks on Wednesday morning oblivious of the fact that there was an oncoming train.
The vehicle got stuck on the railway track and was subsequently rammed by the train leading to the death of 12 people.
It also comes a few days after seven people lost their lives on the Nakuru-Naivasha highway after a mini bus rammed a stationary car at night.
About two weeks ago another nine people died at Ntulele on the Narok highway after the matatu they were travelling in lost control and started rolling downhill before being hit by an oncoming bus.
In August, 41 people died at the same spot after their City to City bus veered off the road and rolled several times.
“The Traffic Commandant has failed to maintain law and order on roads, protect life and property, investigate, prevent and detect traffic offences, apprehend offenders, and enforce of all traffic laws and regulations,” LSK said.
LSK added that the Commandant had failed to remove defective vehicles from the roads and that a substantial number of vehicles with visible defects or violations of the Traffic Act passed through various traffic checkpoints.
The lawyers’ body also said that Kimaru allowed vehicles with worn out tyres and some without head-lights to be driven for long distances at night.
Other accusations include allowing overloaded public service vehicles and commercial vehicles to continue conducting their businesses on Kenyan roads and also allowing these vehicles to operate without speed governors.
According to the society, more than 9,000 people suffer debilitating disabilities are a result of road accidents in Kenya while 26,000 vehicles are destroyed as a result, leading to the loss of billions of Shillings.
The organisation also took issue with the fact that some of the vehicles that are habitually used on the roads are poorly serviced and emit heavy obnoxious petrol or diesel fumes.
The LSK also accused the Traffic Commandant and the NPSC of contributing to corruption among police officers because of their unlawful actions.
The Commandant is in addition being accused of failing to make reports of all daily occurrences and incidents encountered in the discharge of his duties and submit the report to his superiors.
“The Traffic Commandant is professionally and vicariously liable for the neglects, unlawful omissions, and commissions of the officers working under his command.” LSK said.