Police manning a roadblock at Mwangazain in Molo, Nakuru County, on Tuesday found themselves on the receiving end of Kenyans’ wrath after deflating tyres of a moving 14-seater matatu.
The officers, who were enforcing Covid-19 regulations in the area, are said to have thrown spikes across the road to bring the vehicle to a stop.
In a video seen by this writer, members of the public caused scenes as they accused the police of endangering lives of passengers.
“Did you have to risk the lives of all those passengers, couldn’t you have just taken down the registration number of the vehicle and taken it up from there?” one of the people is heard asking a police officer.
A visibly angry driver of the vehicle claimed that the police wanted to solicit a bribe.
He wondered why the officers put the lives of his passengers in danger arguing that he had not refused to stop.
“Unataka kumamaliza watu (you want to kill people), couldn’t you have just ordered me to stop the vehicle? ” he asked.
On his part, the officer claimed that the driver attempted to flee for carrying excess passengers.
“Alikuwa anakimbia ju alikuwa na abiria kumi na nane (he was trying to flee because he knew he was carrying 18 passengers),” the officer is heard telling the crowd.
Police deflate tyres of a 14-seater matatu for flouting Covid-19 containment measures at Mwangazain, Molo. pic.twitter.com/MT1YRoD0lX
— Nation Africa (@NationAfrica) November 17, 2020
In March this year, as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid, the government directed 14-seater matatus to carry a maximum of eight passengers, 25-seaters to carry 15, buses whose sitting capacity is 30 and above to have 60 per cent sitting capacity.
Early this month, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai ordered the police to enforce all Covid-19 measures without fear or favour as the second wave of the virus continues to ravage the country.
Some of the officers have, however, been accused of using excessive force attracting criticism from members of the public.