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High Court orders IG Joseph Boinnet's arrest

By Maureen Ongala | Published Thu, May 18th 2017 at 07:59, Updated May 18th 2017 at 08:02 GMT +3
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett. (Photo: Willis Awandu/Standard)

The High Court in Malindi has issued a warrant of arrest against Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett for contempt of court.

Others included in the arrest warrant are National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) chairman Francis Meja, Traffic Department Commandant Jacinta Muthoni and Hared Adan, an enforcement officer with NTSA.

The four are wanted for defying a May 10, 2017, court order that directed them not to interfere with the operations of Mombasa Raha buses operating under the Star Ways Express Ltd Sacco.

This follows an order to withdraw the Sacco's licence after one of their buses - Buscar - was involved in a grisly accident in Kambu near Makindu last month.

The accident left more than 20 passengers dead and 23 injured.

Mombasa Raha belongs to the same Sacco as Buscar.

But the Sacco went to court and obtained orders directing the police and NTSA not to interfere with its fleet of buses until the matter was heard on May 29.

Defied orders

On Monday, the transport firm told the court that despite an order allowing it to operate until May 29, the State agencies had impounded its buses.

According to Ali Abubakar, a director of Star Ways Ltd Sacco, NTSA officials and the National Police Service impounded two buses in Voi and towed them to Mombasa Police Station, leaving scores of passengers stranded.

On Monday, two more buses were impounded by NTSA officers in Bamburi and Vipingo along the Mombasa-Malindi highway and towed to Kijipwa Police Station.

Two other buses were impounded in Machakos and towed to Mombasa.

"NTSA impounded all our buses plying the Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa, Nairobi and Kampala routes, including those that were on the road carrying passengers to their destinations. This has occasioned us inconveniences, huge and inconceivable business losses, unfair and unjust treatment, and also waste of resources," said /Mr Abubakar.

Following the impounding, 21 passengers were stranded at Kijipwa Police Station and 45 in Malindi as the company made frantic efforts to take them to Lamu.

According to Salim Swaleh, who was driving one of the buses, NTSA officers refused to accept the court orders.

The driver said the police and NTSA were being unfair to apply collective punishment on the entire Sacco for an incident involving one member.

"NTSA officials have rejected the court order we were using on the road as the case went on in court. Being in the same Sacco as Busways doesn't mean we carry the burden of another company. This is unfair and we condemn it," said Mr Swaleh.

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