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Malindi police block truckers protest over rates

By Maureen Ongala and Nehemiah Okwembah | Published Fri, July 13th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 12th 2018 at 22:42 GMT +3
A truck belonging to Malindi Transporters Association Sacco being reweighed at Mariakani Weighbridge on Friday, July, 6, 2018.The truck was arrested by KENHA police officers at a mobile weighbridge for overloading sand at Chumani along Malindi-Kilifi highway on Thursday, July 5, 2018. [Photo:Maureen Ongala,Standard]

Malindi Transporters Association Sacco have been denied permission to hold a demonstration against alleged harassment by Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) in Malindi town.

The transporters claimed KeNHA officials had manipulated mobile weighbridges to inflate the weight of cargo ferried by trucks along Kilifi County roads.

They accused the officials of tampering with the weighbridges to extort truckers who "exceeded the maximum weights limit set".

On Monday Jared Makori, KeNHA's Coast manager denied knowledge of these claims after the transporters made them over the weekend.

On Tuesday, the truckers petitioned Malindi police to protest in Malindi town but this was turned down, allegedly, on security grounds.

Not aware

But speaking to The Standard on phone yesterday, Malindi OCPD Matawa Muchangi said he was not aware of the planned protest which was to be held on Wednesday.

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“I have not been told and I am not even aware,” said Mr Muchangi.

 The chairman of the Sacco, Francis Kagema, claimed the organisation submitted the letter to Malindi OCS Steve Muchai who refused to receive the letter and said that the protest was a security threat.

“We had drafted a notice to inform the police about our protest. I took it to the OCS who told me he is not receiving it for security reasons. He did not want to hear how we had organised ourselves and said we should go to the OCPD,” said Kagema.

Kagema demanded the police to explain why they have stopped them from conducting the protest and said the issue of calibrated weighbridges is not affecting transporters in Malindi alone but is a countrywide problem.

 “We did not want to disrupt anyone which is the reason we wanted to protest outside town,” he said.

 


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