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45 students arrested for drugs, sex orgy in city matatu

It was the ultimate, wild pool party on wheels — and the nightmare of every parent with teens in the house.

There was anger and shock across the country Thursday after 45 high school students were on Wednesday arrested for smoking bhang, drinking and having sex in a moving bus.

And it wasn’t just any old bus.

This was a proper city nganya, a pimped-up matatu, complete with a deafening exhaust, blaring music, garish spray-painted graffiti and saucy inscriptions such as: “Babie while you were away…..I became a millionaire” and “Why go to high school when you can’t go to school high”.

COULDN’T BELIEVE

Residents of Kibirigwi and Kiangwachi on the Karatina-Nairobi road in Nyeri couldn’t believe it when they saw what the girls and boys, still in their school uniforms, were doing through the windows of the matatu.

So outraged were they that they ran after the loud matatu.

A Kibirigwi resident Jadidah Nyawira said she saw the matatu at the trading centre, and because of its wild driving, loud music and equally loud colours it attracted the attention of everyone.

“My other colleagues at the market who also saw the minibus said they noticed that the passengers (students) were smoking and were very noisy.

The 33-seater matatu was intercepted by officers from the Sagana Traffic Police base while ferrying students among them a girl who was in possession of bhang.
The 33-seater matatu was intercepted by officers from the Sagana Traffic Police base while ferrying students among them a girl who was in possession of bhang.

“We tried to chase the minibus along the busy highway in vain, but luckily it was intercepted by police at a roadblock in Kiangwachi,” she said.

Officers at the Kiangwachi Police Post said that after a search, they were shocked to find rolls of bhang, tobacco and matchboxes under the seats of the matatu.

BHANG IN UNDERPANTS

One girl had hidden a roll of bhang and a matchbox in her underpants.

Kirinyaga County Director of Education Elizabeth Karani said the 33-seater matatu was intercepted along the highway by officers from the Sagana Traffic Police base.

Ms Karani said she later contacted the County Police Commander and the County Commissioner to ensure proper action is taken against the driver and conductor of the vehicle.

And Thursday, a Form Four girl arrested during the incident pleaded guilty to being in possession of bhang.

Her friends are believed to have thrown away drugs and alcohol before they were arrested.

The student, from Kanyama Secondary School in Karatina, appeared before Baricho Principal Magistrate Evans Keago.

The court ordered that the girl be remanded in custody at the Sagana Police Station until August 11 for mention and presentation of a social enquiry report.

The driver and the conductor of the matatu were fined Sh45,000 and Sh30,000, respectively.

CONSPIRED TO HIRE CITY BUS

When the Nation team visited Kanyama Secondary School, the Principal, Mr Christopher Mugambi, said on Wednesday, after students were allowed to go home in the morning by their respective schools for the August holidays, students from several schools near Karatina, such as Kibirigwi Girls Secondary School, Mukurwe-ini Boys Secondary School, Kaheti Boys Secondary School, Kanyama Secondary School and others from Kirinyaga County conspired to hire a Nairobi bus to take them to the city.

Graffiti on the matatu.
Graffiti on the matatu.

Mr Mugambi said it was reported that students from Mukurwe-ini Boys Secondary School who had closed a day before spent the night in Karatina and together with some other students organised how the bus from Nairobi would pass through Kerugoya picking students, then go to Karatina for more.

“These buses normally ply Nairobi routes,” said Mr Mugambi.

Most of the students boarded at Karatina and proceeded towards Nairobi, he said.

STOPPED MATATU

At Kiangwachi, police responding to reports from concerned residents of Kibirigwi trading centre, stopped the matatu and boarded it.

“The minibus was seized and students of both genders locked up on suspicion of drug use and irresponsible behaviour,” he said.

“I was notified of the incident and I proceeded to the station accompanied by a teacher to investigate the case. I found four girls students from my school in custody among about 45 others.

The police conducted investigations as I contacted the concerned parents about their children’s whereabouts. One parent reported at the station promptly to handle his daughter’s case,” he said.

Three of the students were taken back to school to await their parents, the other one is still in the cells.

Principals from other schools have since picked their students from the cells.

“Due to this incident, we highly recommend that students be picked by parents on closing day,” several principals who spoke to Daily Nation said.

At Kiangwachi police post, the nganya sat in the parking yard like a garish, alien insect.

SOURCE: Daily Nation