Court detains Fort Ternan bus crash owners for 10 days

Benard Shitiabayi, the manager of the Western Crossroads Sacco (left) and Cleophas Shimanyula, the owner of the bus that crashed and killed 56 people. They appeared at Molo Law Courts on October 11,2018. [Photo: Courtesy]
The two suspects being held in over the Fort Ternan accident will remain in police custody for seven days to allow the investigating officer conclude probe into the matter.

A Court on Friday ordered the detention of the owner of the ill-fated bus, Bernard Ishindu, and the director of Western Cross Express Company Ltd, Cleophas Shimanyula.

The Wednesday accident claimed 56 lives and left 16 people with serious injuries.

Molo Chief Magistrate Samuel Wahome in his ruling said the application by the investigating officer had merit and directed that the suspects be availed in court on October 22, 2018.

The prosecutors had asked Magistrate Wahome to detain the suspects as they could use their position to influence the case.

In the application, Chief Inspector Festus Ondieki, who is in charge of the traffic department at Londiani Police Station, said Ishindu and Shimanyula, being agents of the bus and company, failed to keep records of the driver and conductor who operated the bus at the time of the accident.

This means the duo will be in police custody for a total of 10 days.

According to the survivors, the bus was overloaded and its crew flouted traffic rules. Others said the journey was jinxed from the start and blamed the crew for the horrific accident.

No one to be spared

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has since ordered the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to investigate the Wednesday crash.

DPP Haji wants those involved held accountable.

"In exercise of the powers conferred upon me under Article 157(4) of the Constitution of Kenya, I hereby direct that you cause investigation into the matter to determine the persons who may have, through acts of commission or omission, directly or indirectly contributed to the occurrence of the accident," he told Boinnet in a letter. 

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