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Passengers taunt man for insisting on safe driving

By By MERCY OYAYA | Sep 2nd 2013 | 3 min read


A bunch of angry commuters almost clobbered a passenger in an Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County-bound matatu, when he protested against their instructions to the driver to flaunt traffic laws and overlap to beat the jam at Bangladesh area. 

The bus was stuck in traffic jam for more than 30 minutes, when some of the passengers aboard felt the driver was wasting their time. This was because they saw other matatus overlapping and driving off road to beat the jam.

“Dere wacha kutukalisha hapa kwa jam. Tuko na kazi ya kufanya nyumbani (stop wasting time in this jam, driver. We have better things to do at home),” roared an angry passenger.


However, a law-abiding passenger who found that view silly immediately fired back: “What nonsense! This is where we go wrong. We complain of careless driving, road accidents and irresponsible drivers, yet we push matatu crews to drive recklessly. Just be patient, even if it means getting home tomorrow,” he said.

Unfortunately, his view was not taken kindly by almost half of the passengers in the matatu. Epithet after epithet was hurled in the poor man’s direction.

“Wacha umama wewe. Rudishia huyu mshenzi pesa yake ashuke (stop being a sissy. Conductor, refund this idiot’s bus fare and let him alight),” one man taunted.

And another yelled: “Wewe nyamaza! Kwani tutaishi hapa? Kama hutaki kwenda nyumbani kwa sababu unaogopa bibi yako, sema (shut up! You want us to sleep here? If you are afraid of going home because you fear your wife, just say so)!”

‘Brave passengers’

The insults kept flying in his direction, one after the other, as fellow passengers urged him to alight and let the driver overlap with the ‘brave’ passengers. However, the law abiding Kenyan refused to alight and stuck to his guns, asking those yelling at him to stop tempting fate only to blame the police later.

“Hivi ndivyo nyinyi hufanya alafu shida ikitokea mtaanza ‘Ohh, naomba serikali inisaidie’ (you behave this way but when calamity strikes, you start begging for government assistance),” he scoffed. 

But someone from the back told him that if it was arrest that he feared, the police would be bribed, anyway. Another passenger even reminded him that they were in Kenya and advised him to migrate to Tanzania if he wanted to be polite. If they expected that that would silence him, they were mistaken.

“You can’t keep blaming the police for road carnage when you, the passengers, play a big hand in it,” he sneered.

But they say the majority will have their way and the majority their say, so the driver overlapped — only for most of the passengers to alight barely 200m from where the jam was!

Nonetheless, the passenger left many, including this writer, pondering when he wondered aloud why Kenyans keep blaming the government for not protecting citizens, yet the citizens themselves are never responsible.

“In this country, if you try to stop wananchi from lynching a suspect, who might as well be innocent, it is you who will be lynched,” he posed.

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