4 Dead, Several Injured After fatal Accident Involving Matatu in Kirinyaga

On the fateful night of Saturday, March 23, tragedy struck along the Ngaru-Gatuto road in Kirinyaga County, as a matatu accident claimed the lives of at least four passengers, leaving several others injured in the Koroma area.

The incident unfolded when the driver lost control of the matatu, leading to its overturning and the fatal consequences that followed. Reports suggest that the vehicle was overloaded, a factor that likely contributed to the accident.

In the aftermath of the crash, the deceased were transferred to the local morgue for further examination through autopsy, while the injured received urgent medical attention at nearby hospitals. This unfortunate event underscores the escalating concern over road safety, prompting calls for heightened vigilance among motorists and pedestrians alike.

As investigations unfold, the matatu sacco involved in the incident is yet to issue an official statement. Regrettably, this recent tragedy adds to a string of similar incidents reported within a short span of time, resulting in the loss of over 30 lives and leaving numerous others severely injured.

The recurring fatalities have prompted scrutiny of key authorities responsible for road safety, including Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA). Criticism has mounted against traffic officers accused of turning a blind eye to unroadworthy vehicles in exchange for bribes, thereby jeopardizing public safety.

In response to mounting pressure following a recent accident that claimed the lives of 11 students from Kenyatta University, CS Murkomen has announced new measures. These include the reinstatement of NTSA officers on the roads, reversing a directive issued in 2018. Furthermore, proposals have been made to introduce stop arms on school buses, akin to those in use in the United States, and to station attendants on all buses for enhanced safety.

CS Murkomen has clarified that these measures align with a comprehensive policy draft finalized by the Ministry, which, if ratified, will mandate the installation of CCTV cameras and trackers on all school buses. These proactive steps aim to mitigate the risks associated with road travel and safeguard the lives of passengers, particularly students.