Nairobi, Kenya: The Government has suspended the licence of Nazigi Sacco that runs over 200 vehicles after some of its crew were accused of stripping a woman.
The move came as Devolution Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru, Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko and Criminal Investigations Department Director General Muhoro Ndegwa warned that matatu drivers and conductors risk losing their jobs if they perpetrate gender violence.
Yesterday, National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Director General Francis Meja said the Sacco will be required to present all their 243 vehicles for inspection within the next two weeks.
“Following our investigations, the authority suspends the licence of Nazigi Sacco. This means the operations of all vehicles operating under this Sacco are hereby suspended,” Mr Meja said.
“The Sacco is also required to present a preliminary report on the incident and action taken.”
Meja further called on the public to avoid boarding vehicles operating under Nazigi Sacco until further notice.
He said Traffic Commandant Charlton Mureithi has similarly been instructed to impound any vehicle belonging to the Sacco that is found operating.
At the same time, Micheal Kamau Samwel, Zachary Gitonga Nderitu, Kelvin Njuguna Wainaina, Davi Kinuthia Mbatha and Hosea Kasim appeared before Makadara Senior Principal Magistrate Victor Wakumile and denied they stripped and assaulted a woman at Kayole Nairobi.
They were remanded after the prosecution rejected their plea for bail, saying the offence has become a habit in the country.
It is alleged that on that day the victim was on her daily business of selling eggs to the first accused, he became violent after he was told to pay.
The complainant left without her money and boarded a bus to Mihang’o where Kamau is said to have followed her and stripped her naked.
It is said that the rest joined the scene and they also stripped her. She reported the matter at Kayole Police Station.
On Monday, two other people, among them a police officer, were also charged at the same for stripping a high school girl.
Police officer Christopher Gathara and Samwel Maina Ngige who appeared before Makadara Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde denied the charge.
And speaking yesterday at a press conference, Ms Waiguru said swift action will be taken to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of violence.
With her were Deputy Inspector General of Police Grace Kaindi, Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko, Criminal Investigations Department Director General Muhoro Ndegwa, National Youth Service General Director Nelson Githinji and Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation Chairperson Rahab Mwikali and a representative ofMatatu Owners Association.
Waiguru said: “The Kenya Police, the Criminal Investigations Department and the Director of Public Prosecution shall put in place very clear prevention and response mechanisms that will ensure all the girls and women, and indeed all Kenyans, are protected from any form of violence.”
Waiguru also said the National Youth Service will train matatu drivers and touts on discipline, road safety and effective discharge of services in the transport sector.
The Matatu Owners Association will work with NTSA to develop guidelines that enhance safety for women.