Kitale matatu operators paralyse business with protests

Sunday, August 16th, 2020 19:14 | By
Matatu touts In kitale burn tyres protesting police harassment

David Musundi and Njange Maina

Matatu touts operating in Kitale town disrupted transport services on the Kitale-Endebess route on Saturday by lighting tyres in protest of police arrests.                                                                             

The irate touts accused the police of wrongful detention of 20 of their colleagues over allegations of pick pocketing and flouting of Covid-19 containment regulations.

Trans Nzoia police Commander Ayub Gitonga said the arrests were made following numerous complaints of theft and harassment launched at the Kitale Police station by affected passengers.

"The touts grab passengers' luggage against their wishes with some stealing from them while convincing them to board the Matatu’s they work for. We will charge the ones we have arrested with theft and touting," said Mr. Gitonga.

The touts however denied allegations of theft and asked the police to stop harassing them on flimsy grounds. 

"These are mere allegations meant to paint us in a bad light. Our number one demand is the immediate removal of the OCS," said Augustine Simiyu.

They vowed to continue with protests come Monday in solidarity with their 20 colleagues arrested in the swoop on touts.

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