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Nakuru mechanics protesting killer road injure officer

Thursday January 16 2020
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Protesters barricade a road during a demonstration by mechanics in Shabab estate in Nakuru town on January 16, 2020, following death of their colleague who was ran over by a speeding boda boda rider on Ragati road. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PHYLLIS MUSASIA

A police officer was on Thursday afternoon seriously injured by mechanics in Shabab estate when they protested the death of their colleague who was killed by a speeding boda-boda rider.

The protesters claimed that they have severally asked the county government to erect speed bumps on Ragita road without success.

They allege the road has claimed more than five lives, including pupils and students, in a span of four months.

The one kilometre road that stretches from Shabab roundabout to Langa Langa junction has no speed bumps.

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An officer throws a teargas canister to disperse protesters on Ragati road in Shabab estate, Nakuru town on January 16, 2020. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Elvis Omondi, who witnessed the death of his colleague Vincent Ondogo, 25, said the victim was crossing the road to return to his work station when a speeding boda-boda rider lost control and ran over him.

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KILLER ROAD

“We had just had our lunch at a nearby café and we were headed back to our work stations when the accident happened. Mr Odongo was badly hit and pushed into a water trench. He died on the spot,” said Mr Omondi.

Early in December, another man was killed on the same road by a motorist who sped off after the accident. Two students were also killed in September and October, according to traders who operate along the road.

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Protesters flee during a protest by mechanics in Shabab estate, Nakuru town on January 16, 2020, after one of them was killed in an accident along Ragati road. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Another mechanic, Mr Joseph Otieno, said the road is used by motorists, boda-boda riders, pedestrians, pupils and students from Mama Ngina primary school and Kenyatta Secondary School.

They accused the county government of laxity while people continue to die.

The boda-boda rider who caused the mechanic’s death is said to have fled after the accident. The body was taken to Nakuru Level Five Hospital mortuary.

CALL FOR JUSTICE

Protesters said they were unhappy with the way police handled people who cause accidents on Ragita road.

They claimed that most of the offenders are freed shortly after their arrests.

“Speeding motorists who kill our people should be jailed for justice to be served. Setting them free shortly after arrest in unfair,” said another protester, John Muigai.

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Police officers at a scene where mechanics in Shabab estate, Nakuru town were protesting the killing of one of their own in an accident along Ragati road. One officer was seriously injured in the protest on January 16, 2020. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

However, Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu condemned acts of the protesting mechanics who stoned a police officer.

Mr Matu said it was wrong for protesters to injure officers who were on duty.

“It is unfortunate that one of our officers was seriously injured by protesters during an operation to disperse them after they barricaded the road. Such actions on police officers are not solutions to problems facing us,” said Mr Matu.

He said the officer was undergoing treatment.

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