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Man recounts how he was beaten and left for dead by matatu touts

Four minutes was all it took to dislodge his teeth, give him a red eye and break three of his ribs.

Andrew Mburu Mbugua, 42, will never forget the incident during which a drunk matatu driver blocked him and came out with kicks and blows with the help of touts all because he gave way to a female driver at a junction slowing down traffic.

The father of one had an altercation with the matatu crew at the Rabai and Mumias roads junction when they said they were in a rush and he told them to be patient and allow the female driver to cross over to the other road.

After a few minutes of waiting, the female driver finally managed to cross over and normal flow of traffic resumed but little did Mr Mburu know what the matatu crew was planning.

“A minute later just after the Buruburu phase five stage, I saw the Nadra matatu speeding towards my car and I slowed down as they were about to overtake, they swerved towards my side and I breaked hard as the matatu blocked us,” recalls Mr Mburu.

The four touts hanging on the matatu door started hurling insults at him before the driver alighted and walked towards his car and pulled him out.

“Calvo, as I could hear the rest calling him, punched me on the face and immediately the rest of the crew joined in with kicks and blows making me fall hard on the tarmac and literally pushing me under the car,” said Mr Mburu.

KICKED AND PUNCHED

For four minutes the men kicked and punched him as his wife Lucy Wacu Mburu froze in shock.

“I was traumatized and in deep shock as I have lived in Buruburu all my life and knew these guys well. I expected passengers inside the matatu and by standers to help stop them but people were just watching and recording videos with their phones,” said the mother of one.

As she screamed for help, she could see her husband’s face covered in blood that came out through the nose and mouth.

It was one passenger only identified as Mr Kuria who jumped out of the Nadra matatu and stopped the seven men, telling them they would have to kill him first before killing Mr Mburu.

The matatu crew quickly boarded the vehicle and left the scene as Mrs Mburu was helped by some people to get her husband into their vehicle.

She drove to Aga Khan Hospital in Buruburu where Mr Mburu was given first aid.

“As we were heading to Kenyatta National Hospital, we made a stopover at the Nadra matatu owner’s premise and narrated what had happened even showing him my injured husband. Interestingly, he said his matatu was not at fault shifting the blame on the ‘squad’ driver who is not his employee,” said Mrs Mburu.

ARRAIGNED IN COURT

Police in Buruburu have since arrested and arraigned one of the suspects while three others are still on the run.

“We arrested three people, the driver conductor and a tout. Two of them said they were not with the vehicle that day. We conducted an identification parade and one was identified and arraigned in court but did not take a plea pending the P3 form which the victim had gone to acquire. The vehicle is still detained at the police station,” said Buruburu OCPD Geoffrey Mayek.

Mr Mburu who has been nursing his injuries while hoping that the crew on the run will soon be arrested had been a tout during his youth days back in the early 90s.

“Before I joined the Airforce I was a tout in the Buruburu route and during our days crews were disciplined and respectful as well as descent. Nowadays one does not even want to board the matatus with children because of the kind of posters and videos displaying nudity as well as the rowdy crews,” said the father of one.

He appealed to the National Transport and Safety Authority to not only enforce traffic rules but also check the conduct of matatu crews.