There’s a crazy obsession for occupancy of the front seats in a vehicle among Kenyans. While they may be forgiven for associating the seats with a premium commute, probably due to the proximity with the driver, it is disturbing when the quest to occupy the driver’s cabin attracts extremities.
Higher tariffs for fare charged on passengers occupying front seats in some Nairobi matatus illustrates the lengths Kenyans can go to occupy this coveted spot.
The trend has, however, assumed a disastrous trajectory, as evidenced by recent happenings involving individuals in a public service capacity. On Saturday, 25 January, a woman succumbed to injuries after jumping off a moving ambulance in Kajiado county.
The woman acted on impulse following the desperation around seeing the condition of her son, who was being rushed to Kajiado Referral Hospital, worsen. Ongoing probes into the incident point out to likely circumstances where the attending nurse, who has since been suspended alongside the driver, was riding at the front compartment rather than at the back with the patient and the mother. Otherwise, her timely intervention could have significantly contained the situation.
Another incidence was witnessed on Monday 27 January, in Murang’a county, where four suspects en route to Murang’a prison imbibed concentrated chang’aa carried in the same police vehicle that was being used to ferry them.
Consequently, they went into a state of unconsciousness, prompting their admission at Maragua Sub-County Hospital for advanced medical procedures to stabilize them. The lethal brew consumed by the four men was to be presented in court as evidence for a different case.
Police, while commenting on the issue, remarked that the four were in the back of the vehicle, whereas the officers, who were escorting them to Murang’a remand prison, were in the driver’s compartment when the suspects consumed the chang’aa.