Parents of 35 secondary school students are reeling in shock and disbelief after their children were reportedly caught red-handed smoking bhang and having sex inside a bus. In what sounds like a scene from a horror movie, the students from different schools in Central Province had each paid Sh600 to ride in the bus, whose conniving crew looked the other way as the students’ proceeded with sex orgies and indulged in drugs.
But the party for the students from Nairobi County was spoilt by some villagers in Kibirigwi, Kirinyaga County, who were alarmed by the noise coming from the vehicle.
The matatu had made a stop-over in the village and when the villagers peeped, they were taken aback by what they saw— some of the students were busy having sex while others were smoking bhang.
According to villagers who intercepted the bus at Kiangwachi Market between Sagana and Karatina on the main Nairobi-Nyeri highway, some students in the the bus named ‘Cash Money Millionaire’ were drinking alcohol, while others were kissing.
The bus, which plies the Kayole-City Centre route, had a slogans that read, ‘Babie, When You Were Gone, I Became a Millionaire’ and ‘Why go to high school when you can go to school high’.
Some witnesses said when the bus stopped at the market, vendors noticed bhang smoke wafting from through its windows and alerted the boda boda riders.
When the students were busted, some quickly disowned their jackets, which were stocked with rolls of bhang. They were also found with tobacco snuff.
But things went awry and the ride home for the August holiday on the ‘lunatic express’ will forever remain engraved in the mind of one student from Kanyama Secondary School in Nyeri.
She had reportedly stashed drugs in her private parts and upon being frisked, her hidden secret was discovered and she was hauled out of the bus into police cells.
The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidate, who appeared before Baricho Principal Magistrate Evans Keago, admitted she had six rolls of bhang but “was only holding them for a friend”.
The girl (name withheld), whose parents wept when she was brought to the dock still clad in her full school uniform, pleaded guilty to possession of bhang Thursday.
The magistrate ordered that she be kept in remand until August 11 when her case will come up for a mention and also have a report from a probation officer and the school produced.
The prosecution led by Chief Inspector Rose Roheya did not oppose the conditions issued by the court.
The Form Four student was among the group of students who had hired a Nairobi bus to ferry them from Kerugoya and Karatina towns to Nairobi.
Apparently, the students have been riding home high as they party in the moving ‘juke box’ where the only rules are those they frame for themselves.
Thursday, the crew of the 33-seater Kayole estate bus admitted to a raft of offences including operating outside their designated route and carrying excess passengers and immediately paid a Sh85,000 fine.
Daniel Mwaura, the driver, was charged with carrying 41 passengers instead of the authorised 33.
He was also charged with carrying eight uninsured passengers and contravening the public service vehicles rules by traveling to Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties, instead of operating in Nairobi.
His conductor, Justus Momonyi, was charged separately with operating as a bus conductor without wearing the prescribed PSV uniform.
The two pleaded guilty to all the counts and paid the fines.
After the debacle, principals from Kaheti, Kibirigwi, Kanjuri, Kanyama and Mukurweini boys high schools released a joint statement asking parents and traffic police officers to be more vigilant during the school holidays.
Kanyama High School Principal Christopher Mugambi explained that the students were released from various institutions on August 5 at around 8a.m.
However, students from Mukurweini Boys High School had closed a day earlier and appeared to have convinced their friends to charter a bus from Nairobi to brighten up their journey home.
“The boys had spent the night in Karatina town waiting for the rest of their friends from various schools in Kirinyaga and Nyeri, convincing them it would be a wild ride,” Mugambi explained.
The bus, which is currently impounded at Kiangwachi Police Post, traveled through Kerugoya and then Karatina towns, charging the students Sh600 for the trip to Nairobi.
That means the students from Kirinyaga schools such as Mutige Boys and Kibirigwi Girls were picked up first and ferried to Karatina to link up with those from Nyeri schools before the bus started its ill-fated journey to Nairobi.
However, the bus which plies routes in Nairobi, made locals suspicious.
“Residents became suspicious of the bus because the fee was thrice the fare paid to Nairobi from Karatina and the students were rowdy,” Mr Mugambi noted.
Mugambi confirmed that the public alerted the police over the manner in which the school girls were boarding the bus at the market.
Traffic police at Kiangwaci intercepted the bus and on boarding the vehicle, police found rolls of bhang on the floor of the bus and school girls seated on boys laps in the back seat. Most of the students were clearly intoxicated.
Once the students were rounded up at Kiangwaci Police Station, the principals were informed and they picked up the students who spent the night in the various schools.
“We alerted their parents to come pick them up except one girl who was arrested and was at the police station,” Mugambi said.
Kirinyaga County Police Commander David Bunei said the scenes in the bus were shocking but they had no grounds to hold the 38 students and preferred to place them under the care of the school principals.
He said it was important for parents to be more alert with their children especially when they are closing school.
“Most schools close and release their students at 8a.m. in the morning, therefore it is up to parents to find out why their children are arriving home past 7p.m. at night,” Mugambi said.
Safety of students
He said the mandate of the school head teachers was to ensure the safety of the students when they are within the school compound after which it is up to parents and police to protect the children from harm.
Parents in the village where the students were nabbed expressed shock at their misbehaviour.
“While our sons and daughters would go for the cheapest ride to save a coin of their pocket money, these children look for an exclusive special arrangement,” said David Mugwe, one of the residents who turned up at Kiangwaci Police Station.