NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – There was chaos on the Thika superhighway on Wednesday morning after matatu operators blocked a section of the road at Roysambu, to protest the killing of their colleague.
The matatu drivers and touts blamed a police officer who allegedly shot the tout for refusing to bribe him on Tuesday night.
James Wahome, the chairman of the Route 44 Drivers and Conductors Welfare Association who led the protests accused police of failing to take action, saying harassment cases were on the increase.
“They (police) normally come here to collect bribes. They were harassing him and after he defied orders to give bribe to the police officer, he shot him on his head and left him to die,” he said.
“We only hope that justice will be delivered following the assurance that we have received from the deputy commandant of police. He has assured us that action will be taken against the police officer who was involved in this case.”
Wahome also claimed that police officers in the area were perpetually drunk while on duty. “Even now in this operation there are police officers who are drunk.”
According to the sister of the deceased who only gave her name as Eunice, the victim could have been killed for refusing with a Sh50 bribe normally asked for by police officers.
“The usually ask for Sh50 and that could have been the reason why he was killed.”
At one point during the demonstration, a section of the protestors accused a traffic officer who was manning the area of being drunk and descended on him with blows and kicks while some hurled stones at him.
Footage captured by the Capital FM News crew, showed the officer desperately running for his life and even going under a fence in order to access safer ground.
The situation however returned to normal after the Nairobi deputy police Chief Moses Nyakwama assured the protesters that action will be taken if the officer is found culpable.
“The law cuts on both sides and nobody is above the law…the law will take its course and we shall investigate and ensure everything is alright,” he affirmed.
“You will only hear of the action after we discuss with your chairman. Everyone will carry his own cross… just wait you will hear of the action.”
To help address the situation and deliver justice to the family of the deceased, Nyakwama said police together with those who witnessed the situation will work together on tracking the ‘killer’ police officer.
“No one is above the law,” he charged.
He said he will ensure police officers only perform their task; to protect human lives and property.
On the police officers working while drunk he said. “We are going to take serious action on that, no short cut.”