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End this thuggery on public service vehicles

By - | Feb 12th 2014 | 2 min read

Benson Mbugua is the face any Kenyan. He was a husband and father of four. As a bus driver, his was far from a dream job, but this did little to suffocate his will to afford his family the very best in life.

From the earnings of his back-breaking job, Mbugua saved enough to bypass the mediocre joke that are public universities — managing to admit his eldest daughter into one of the country’s premier private universities — United States International University.

At 28 trips between Thika and Nairobi a week, Mbugua’s sacrifice epitomises the spirit of every Kenyan — resilient even in the oddest of circumstances.

On the ‘Black Friday’ of January 31, Mbugua died — a brutal death visited upon him alongside his passenger by a mindless gang of delinquents on Thika Road. Another 20 passengers suffered serious stab injuries in a hijack incident that saw all also passengers robbed of their items.     

Sadly, the killing of Mbugua — shocking as it were — is an every day thing on Kenyan roads.

But this is not exactly how the police look at the problem. To them, Mbugua is no more than just a number on the scorecard of statistics, at least from their shameless, even sickening monthly crime reports. The State must move its security apparatus beyond the philosophy of uniforms to action. Security is not the presence of police on roads, but demonstrated efforts to rid the country of environments that breed crime.

The vehicle that became Mbugua’s casket, like many other public service vehicles on Kenyan roads had all the markings of a den of outlaws.

How hard is it for instance for the Police to demand that no PSV vehicle is allowed on the road with that criminal noise disguised as music? What law is the chief of traffic waiting for to bin PSVs with tinted windows?

The police are known to arrest private car owners for tinting their cars...what makes it right for PSVs to do that? How many more Kenyans should be robbed, raped or even killed on the highways before they act?  Would the story have been the same if the leaders kith and kin suffered just half the madness Kenyans endure everyday?  

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