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What happened? Viral video of Thika Road woman screaming in a Probox jolts Kenyans

By Winfrey Owino | Mar 21st 2022 | 3 min read

A screengrab of the viral video. [Source: Ma3 Route]

A man has been charged with reckless driving and endangering the lives of other road users after a video of him speeding along Thika Road with a screaming female passenger went viral on Sunday morning.

Speaking to The Standard, Kasarani OCPD Peter Mwanzo said James Maina Kibe, 26, has been arrested, fined Sh70,000, and the car, registration number KBJ 835Z, detained.

According to the National Police Service (NPS), the woman, Karen Wanjiru - a medical student at Kenyatta University, was not abducted as earlier claimed.

"It has since been established that the incident involves a couple (boyfriend and girlfriend) who had a disagreement after a social outing within the city. The lady wanted to alight and go home, whilst the boyfriend insisted on spending the evening together. 

"During the scuffle a member of the public took the clip which was circulated online," said the National Police in a statement.

In a video taken from another moving car on the highway, the white Probox is seen speeding with its passenger door open and a woman screaming for help.

Sources who witnessed the incident claimed that Wanjiru was bungled into the Probox outside Kenyatta University.

"Guys, things are getting messy! A certain lady boarded a car at KU; nobody is sure whether it was a kidnapping or not. The driver realised someone is recording them and he moved from the highway to the service lane...As reported, it doesn't look so well kindly share the video we might save the lady," claimed Wilsons Derangle Ndirangu, who first shared the video on Facebook.

Sources at Ruiru Police Station, who spoke to The Standard on Sunday afternoon, however, suggested that the woman had been offered a lift.

“The woman had been offered a lift and then the driver and his crew turned into criminals. There is no official complaint other than this. The woman’s whereabouts remain unknown,” said the source on Sunday.

When The Standard reached out to Ruiru DCIO Justus Ombati for a follow-up on the incident that had left Kenyans with more questions than answers, he responded, “Kenyatta University is not in Ruiru, it is in Nairobi. Please reach out to Kasarani DCI”, before hanging up.

According to a source familiar with the case, “The woman who was captured screaming from the speeding car with an open "co-driver’s" door along Thika Road was refusing to spend the night at her boyfriend's place, according to Police Spokesman Bruno Shioso.” 

Barely a fortnight ago, the DCI had arrested four suspects in Kahawa Wendani, Kiambu following a spate of abductions of travellers on the Thika Superhighway.

The four, in a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, were arrested following an operation by Ruiru-based officers while luring another victim.

"Josephine Njambi, Nicholas Mungai, Joel Kinyanjui and Edwin Njuguna were arrested in the dramatic incident that brought Wendani township to a standstill, albeit for a few minutes," said the DCI in a statement.

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