DPP steps in after crew charged over blasts

May 7, 2014 8:20 am
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According to his office, DPP Keriako Tobiko has called for the file "in order to establish the reason and desirability of the charges"/FILE
According to his office, DPP Keriako Tobiko has called for the file “in order to establish the reason and desirability of the charges”/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has called for the police file on the five bus crew members who were charged on Tuesday for failing to prevent deaths in Sunday’s twin blasts on Thika Road.

According to his office, DPP Keriako Tobiko has called for the file “in order to establish the reason and desirability of the charges.”

The action came as matatu operators who ply Githurai route 45 took to the street in protest over their colleagues’ arraignment in court and the Sh5 million bond set for their release.

The two drivers and three conductors of the Githurai and Mwiki bound buses which exploded on the Thika Superhighway on Sunday were charged on Tuesday for failing to search their passengers before letting them on board.

“James Munene, Anthony Mutua, Robert Gakuru, Geoffrey Mwangi and Joshua Wambugu failed to prevent felony namely murder by failing to search passengers whereby the said bus was blown off by unknown passenger who had an improvised explosive device (IED),” their charge sheets read.

But their defence counsel Mbiyu Kamau had asked Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde to set reasonable bond on account of his clients’ limited means and the fact that the IEDs had also posed a danger to their lives.

“Your honour when considering bond consider the role the accused persons are accused to have been involved in, driver and conductor, and that their lives too were also in danger,” he prayed. READ: Crew charged for failing to prevent Nairobi bus blasts.

But in the immediate aftermath of the blasts Police Spokesperson Zipporah Mboroki said the matatu operators exhibited negligence by failing to screen their passengers and their luggage.

“Time and again we’ve called for screening because this is not the first time this has happened. Who should take responsibility now?” she posed.

The charging of the matatu crew over the blasts not only drew a reaction from the protesting Githurai route matatu operators but from Capital FM News readers as well.

“That’s Kenya for you: jail the victim,” Godfrey Kimega commented while wkithi wrote: “The duty of securing the security of Kenyans is that of law enforcement and other security agencies namely the NIS and CID. While I agree people should exercise caution and prudence, these three cannot succeed where well funded government apparatus have failed.”

Three people were killed in Sunday’s blasts and over 50 others injured adding to the three who were killed and over 20 injured in Mombasa on Saturday when an IED exploded outside the Chania Bus booking office.

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