A police roadblock in Murang'a erected to check movement of people in and out of Nairobi has been removed following claims of mistreatment of transporters and corruption.
Kambi Samaki roadblock at Makuyu along the Kenol-Sagana route was disbanded on Tuesday in a directive by County Police Commander Josphat Kinyua following complaints from road users.
The roadblock was located near the Tana River Bridge at the border of Murang’a and Kirinyaga counties.
Action by Kinyua followed an incident where a truck driver was allegedly roughed up by a senior police officer now under investigation.
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The disbandment of the facility which was effected at 2am following hue and cry by essential service providers, operating from the counties of Marsabit, Isiolo, Meru, Kirinyaga and Laikipia over harassment and intimidation by rogue police demanding bribes.
A driver disclosed that when the police commander arrived at the roadblock shortly after 2am, he heard sad tales from transporters some of whom had been detained with perishable goods from 8 pm.
Peter Karuga, a regular user of the highway, said majority opted to divert through Kenol- Murang’a-Sagana route to avoid the section.
He said traders have lost millions of shillings after their farm produce including dairy products that went into waste due to the prolonged delay at the facility. “The officers demanded bribes openly with those who fail to give being forced to spend nights in the cold," said Karuga.
The officers were ordered back to their stations in the morning and the spikes removed before the county security committee was notified.
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Kinyua blamed the officers for the mistreatment of authorised persons ferrying foodstuff destined for Nairobi.
“The government is out to ensure there is regulated movement of people but not to punish its law-abiding citizens,” he said.
The action followed three days after bhang estimated at Sh14.5 million that was seized in Makuyu area passed through the route.
Two suspects were arrested transporting the bhang from Marsabit to Nairobi and picked by an anti-narcotic unit.