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Court frees owner of matatu that killed NTV journalist

The owner of a matatu that killed NTV journalist Raphael Nzioka has been released on a bond of Sh300,000 or in the alternative a cash bail of Sh100,000 after denying charges of failing to keep records of his driver.

Mr Stephen Njoroge was released by Milimani principal magistrate Martha Nanzushi.

He denied three counts related to failing to adhere to regulations of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

According to the charge sheet, Mr Njoroge failed to keep records his matatu driver who escaped after causing an accident on March 7, 2020 that killed the journalist along the Kenyatta Avenue-Kimathi Street junction, Nairobi.

The deceased was crossing the road at the pedestrian crossing path when the matatu fatally injured him. The vehicle, registered as KAR 516X, has since been grounded and held at Central Police Station.

The court heard that Mr Njoroge, as the owner of the vehicle, failed to keep written names, the address and driving licence number of the driver.

Mr Njoroge faced another count of permitting the motor vehicle to be driven on a public road while some its parts and equipment were not maintained.

This, the court said, made the vehicle unsafe to other road users and passengers.

In the third count, Mr Njoroge was accused of allowing the vehicle to operate without an insurance certificate.

In requesting to be released on bail, his lawyer Kinyua Machina said he will assist in tracing the driver so that he can also be charged.

The lawyer added that his client is facing hard economic times as he requested for lenient terms.

The case will be mentioned on April 30, this year.