Driver of matatu that killed 5 peo­ple de­nies reck­less driv­ing

State coun­sel says if Kinyan­jui is re­leased, his safety might be at risk be­cause the ac­ci­dent caused an up­roar and peo­ple may want re­venge

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - AN­NETTE WAMBULWA @Wam­bul­waAn­nette

The driver of a Ron­gai matatu that caused the death of five pas­sen­gers on Lang’ata Road 10 days ago yes­ter­day was charged with caus­ing death by dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

Fran­cis Kinyan­jui ap­peared be­fore Kib­era prin­ci­pal mag­is­trate Barbara Ojoo.

He de­nied all the 10 counts, in­clud­ing five charges of caus­ing death by dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

Kinyan­jui is be­ing charged with driv­ing dan­ger­ously with­out care and con­sid­er­a­tion of other road users and caus­ing the death of five pas­sen­gers on Septem­ber 25.

He was also charged with two other counts of care­less driv­ing. Kinyan­jui was fur­ther charged with driv­ing a mo­tor ve­hi­cle with­out a driv­ing li­cence and an al­ter­na­tive charge of fail­ing to carry his li­cence.

He also de­nied driv­ing an un­road­wor­thy ve­hi­cle and fail­ing to re­port an ac­ci­dent, which he had caused at the near­est po­lice sta­tion.

Kinyan­jui pleaded with the court to re­lease him on bond, but State Coun­sel An­nette Wan­gia op­posed his re­lease. She said he was likely to flee. Wan­gia said the sus­pect went into hid­ing and only resur­faced af­ter eight days.

She said if Kinyan­jui is re­leased, his safety might be at risk con­sid­er­ing the ac­ci­dent has at­tracted a lot of up­roar. She said there have been a lot of protests af­ter the ac­ci­dent. It is for his safety to re­main be­hind bars,” Wan­gia said. She said some of the vic­tims are still hos­pi­talised.

Kinyan­jui, how­ever, said he ran away from the scene to avoid be­ing harmed by a mob. The case will be men­tioned this morn­ing. If found guilty, Kinyan­jui is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Last week, the NTSA said the minibus was op­er­at­ing with­out li­cence.

NTSA di­rec­tor gen­eral Fran­cis Me­jja yes­ter­day said the ve­hi­cle – KCG 748M – was op­er­at­ing un­der the On­gataline Sacco, de­spite with­drawal of its Road Ser­vice Li­cence by the agency.

This came as stu­dents from the Mul­ti­me­dia Univer­sity demon­strated a class­mate was killed in the ac­ci­dent. The peace­ful protests turned chaotic and po­lice fired live bul­lets. Me­jja said the NTSA has re­solved to dereg­is­ter the sacco.

He said the sacco’s crew has be­come no­to­ri­ous and has not com­plied with the PSV rules, lead­ing to mul­ti­ple fa­tal ac­ci­dents. Me­jja said the au­thor­ity had en­gaged the sacco of­fi­cials on sev­eral oc­ca­sions since March, but they failed to con­trol their driv­ers. “The de­ci­sion to dereg­is­ter the com­pany was ar­rived at fol­low­ing a chronology of en­gage­ments be­tween the au­thor­ity and the com­pany,” he said.

MONICAH MWANGI

Driver Fran­cis Kinyan­jui at a Kib­era court yes­ter­day/

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