Matatu operators plying the Mathare Kariobangi routes are lamenting over the growing number of carjacking incidents in the area.
Neema Sacco Manager Gichu Ali says that so five five matatus belonging to his sacco have been hijacked by these organized gangs.
According to Ali, the carjackers pose as passengers and once they enter the matatu they rob the other passengers.
“A lot of carjackings happen in Mathare. There is a gang of five or six youth in Mathare. They are armed with guns and knives and once they get inside, they rob the passengers,” says Ali.
Ali says that they have tried to complain to the police to take action of these thugs to no success.
Gichu says that police officers have instead turned against them and accused them of robbery.
He says that two of their innocent operators are currently in police custody accused of robbery with violence, a situation he terms as unfortunate.
“Police are reacting against the wrong persons. Instead of doing proper investigations, they are turning on drivers and conductors. As we speak right now, there is a driver who has been accused of robbery with violence and they want a bon of Ksh. 800,000 and a conductor accused of robbery with violence and they want a bond of Ksh. 500,000,” said Gichu.
Starehe OCPD Julius Kiragu has however maintained that the conductor and driver currently in court over robbery with violence are not there by mistake.
Kiragu claims that the conductors and drivers have been conspiring with the criminals to steal from innocent wananchi.
“We have received many reports of criminals entering matatus and stealing from passengers. I don’t understand why these matatu operators are complaining because they keep using the same illegal routes that their passengers get mugged,” said Kiragu.
“The other question we are asking is how comes criminals are getting into a matatu, steal from passengers and leave the conductor with money?” he posed.