Nairobi woman recounts how she escaped being drugged by matatu crew

“I checked to see if my phone, cash payments from a client and cards were intact. I got my phone and began taking pictures. Some men quickly surrounded me, trying to stop me from taking pictures.” she said.PHOTO: COURTESY

 A matatu driver who allegedly attempted to drug and rob his passenger will be charged in court today.

This comes as police warned passengers to be alert in Public Service Vehicles saying similar cases have been reported.

The matatu driver who operates a matatu belonging to Dakika M.O. Sacco that plies Dagoretti-Nairobi route was arrested following a complaint on trying to rob and drug a passenger.

One of the passengers, Karimi Mwari, reported the incident on Saturday evening.

Kilimani OCPD Peter Katam said her case was booked as OB71/22/10/16 at 5.20pm.

“The driver will appear in court tomorrow (today) to be charged with the offence of robbing and intending to drug passengers. We call upon other people who have fallen victim to the driver to report to us so that we can charge him with many offenses,” he said.


He warned that incidents where PSV crews have harassed and robbed their clients are on the rise.

“We congratulate Karimi Mwari for her courage to report this particular incident to us. We immediately launched a manhunt and arrested the driver of matatu on Saturday. We also recovered and detained the vehicle,” he said.

Katam said investigations reveal that a number of PSV operators on the route are engaged in the vice.

“Karimi acted as a whistle-blower and we have taken more measures to ensure passengers are safe. We have intensified patrols in our area and deployed undercover officers in PSVs to apprehend the wrongdoers,” he said.

Karimi who describes herself as a human resource enthusiast and fashion lover told The Standard yesterday that her experience in human resource gave her the courage to report the incident.

“I deal with different people and this has thickened my skin. I had to be courageous to defend myself otherwise I would be dead now,” she said.

Karimi said she left her office located along Ngong Road at around 4.30pm to celebrate her birthday but her nightmare began immediately she settled on the matatu’s co-driver’s seat.

“It was my birthday and I wanted to celebrate my life. I left work early and decided instead of going to town I take a matatu and alight at Kenyatta Hospital. So right outside my work place I boarded Matatu,” she said.

She entered the matatu in the company of two other female passengers.

“I opened the front door and so in front it was just the driver and myself. I mean after reading the story of how a lady was drugged and left for death I was taking precaution,” she said.

Karimi then had just picked a call and returned the phone back to her bag then all hell broke loose.

“As I started alighting at Kenyatta National Hospital stage, the driver grabbed my bag and started pulling while a ‘Mukorino’ guy and others stood on the doorway, pushing me back and roughing me up,” she recalled.

She ignored the driver’s accomplices and hit him with her bag after realising that he was holding a syringe directed at her rib-cage.

“He began bleeding in the nose and then I elbowed the Mukorino, quickly grabbed my bag and jumped off,” Karimi said.

Running across the road and clutching onto her bag, she noticed it was open.

“I checked to see if my phone, cash payments from a client and cards were intact. I got my phone and began taking pictures. Some men quickly surrounded me, trying to stop me from taking pictures.” she said.

She noticed the girls who were seated behind her were unconscious.

“I started shouting but my voice was drowned by men asking me to ‘kanyagia story (to be quiet about it)’,” she said.


She added, “As I tried crossing the road I find myself being cornered by several guys but I ran on. I would rather be knocked down at this rate. I ran into Kenyatta Hospital and made sure I got inside the hospital. Good thing I have been there enough times so they let me in,” she said.

Though she waited for two hours before recording her statement, she is happy that the culprit was apprehended.

“Many passengers especially women undergo such bad experiences in these matatus. They should stand up and speak against it,” she said.

Dakika sacco chairman Paul Gitonga promised to cooperate with the police to make sure the matter is solved.

“I confirm the affected matatu belongs to our sacco but I am not sure if the crew is well known to us. We are going to interrogate the owner to know the truth,” he said.

He condemned the incident and called on his members to report rogue employees to the police so that they do not soil the name of their business.

Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai also condemned the incident and called on PSV operators to vet employees before hiring them.