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Two matatus burnt by irate mobs after fatal accidents in Nairobi

By Cyrus Ombati | February 5th 2017
A matatu goes up in flames along Lang'ata Road in Nairobi after angry mob set it on fire in protest. (Photo: Elvis Ogina/Standard)

Two public service vehicles were at the weekend burnt down after being involved in fatal accidents in Nairobi.

The drivers of the matatus were racing to the city centre in separate incidents when they hit pedal cyclists killing them on the spot.

And when they stopped to attend to the incidents, irate mobs attacked them before setting their vehicles ablaze.

The first incident happened along Lang’ata Road on Saturday afternoon where a 33-seater matatu plying Rongai-Nairobi CBD route was torched by angry bodaboda operators after it fatally hit a young pedal cyclist near Uhuru Gardens.

Lang’ata OCPD Elijah Maina Mwangi said the driver of the matatu was racing to the city when he accidentally hit a cyclist killing him.

“This attracted the attention of bodaboda operators who attacked the new matatu before burning it. It is wrong,” said Mwangi.

Mwangi cautioned Kenyans against taking the law in their own hands when aggrieved at an unfortunate incident.

 “We are not happy with people taking law into their own hands. Now we have two cases to investigate – that of the accident and that of torching the matatu. It is not the right way to do things,” Mr Mwangi said.

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None of the passengers on board was injured.

Another matatu plying Kayole route was also torched Saturday night after it hit and killed a rider along Jogoo Road, Nairobi.

Nairobi head of traffic Leonard Katana said the matatu was speeding to the city centre at about 2am when the accident happened.

This attracted the attention of other riders who attacked the driver, forcing him to escape before they torched the 42 seater matatu. The passengers who were on board had left.

He said the incidents are on the increase and blamed the situation on bodaboda operators who are operating outside the law.

“This is the third such incident pitting matatu operators and bodaboda riders. We must stop this behavior because it is criminal,” he said.

He said the matatus are valued at more than Sh10 million.

Another matatu was burnt along Ngong Road near the bypass after hitting a pedestrian on December 

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