Two journalists and an international boxer were among passengers in a city bus who were held hostage for hours on Tuesday night by gun toting gangsters who robbed them of cash and other valuables.
Taifa Leo sub-editor Sylvester Mukele, People Daily sports sub-editor Derek Otieno and Kenya international boxer Nick Abaka were all caught up in the harrowing incident inside a Komarock-bound Double M commuter bus.
According to Mukele, the gangsters, who numbered seven, boarded the bus like all the other passengers at Ambassador Hotel terminus within the CBD shortly after 10pm.
“I was among the first passengers on board and I sat where I could see all the passengers coming in. What caught my attention from the onset was the fact that the bus conductors were not frisking passengers who were coming on board, as is usually the case. It struck me as odd,” Mukele told Nairobi News.
He also noted that the bus was carrying atleast six excess passengers who only got seats after others alighted along the way.
But it was after the bus reached Makongeni estate along Jogoo road that the gangsters, who had spread themselves out in the bus, struck.
“The seven gangsters suddenly drew their guns and ordered everyone to surrender cash, phones and other valuables. I lost my phone and Sh1,000,” he said.
He says two passengers were not as lucky and cumulatively lost Sh106,000, with part of this amount meant for school fees.
The thugs commandeered the bus which they diverted off its designated route before abandoning it somewhere along Outer Road and fled on foot.
Otieno also narrated the incident in a post on his Facebook page.
“Friends, you might be trying to reach me on phone. You cannot.. Sadly, last night, we were hijacked around Makadara and endured a harrowing three hours of terror and trauma before being dumped in Kariobangi Estate. In the process, we all lost our phones, money and everything. I have just reported the matter to the police and in the process of getting a new phone and replacing my line. It was TORTURE, TERROR AND TRAUMA. Nothing I have seen and it was a script for a true hijack movie,” he wrote.
The passengers and bus crew later reported the incident at Buruburu Police Station. The police say they are investigating the incident.
Incidents of carjackings on public service vehicles are occasionally reported within Nairobi.
Double M buses, once considered safe to travel on, are now some of the most vulnerable.