My ordeal at the hands of abusive Roy Sambu touts
It was an ordinary evening for Angela Nyang’or after a well spent afternoon with her sister. But the day was not to end as blissfully as she expected.
On July 14 at around 7pm, Angela and her sister were physically and verbally abused by touts at the Roy Sambu matatu terminal.
Their nightmare started when her elder sister, Ruby Atieno, decided to return to her house in Juja. While at the stage, the touts started their usual chants for customers.
Ruby settled on the matatu she wanted to board, but then had a change of heart. As she retreated from the entrance, one of the touts grabbed her hand and tried to force her into the matatu.
DID NOT BOARD
“The matatu touts were in their usual calling and chanting and my sister chose a matatu. She then decided it was not the best for her and did not board. That’s when a man who helps na kujaza gari tightly gripped my sister’s hand,” said Ms Nyang’or.
Ten minutes passed with the man still forcefully holding her sister’s hand. Angela tried to reason with him, telling him that he cannot force into that particular vehicle.
In the midst of the commotion more touts came and started hailing insults at them.
“This has been happening to most women and girls, I’m sure many people can relate to this. The difference with this man is that he never let her go. I got scared because my sister was clearly in pain and was frightened as well. I started to hit the man’s arm with my plastic bag, it was night mind you,” Angela told Nairobi News.
‘FEAR FOR OUR LIVE’
She went on: “I feared for our lives, we could get raped or they could decide to undress us on the streets because the number of touts gathering was increasing alarmingly. Eventually he let go of my sister’s hand and I frantically started looking for another Juja matatu so we can leave as soon as possible.”
What surprised her most though was that throughout the episode, no one tried to help them. Even passengers who had boarded the matatu just looked on as they were being harassed.
Almost all matatu termini in the city are riddled with these touts who compete with each other to fill a vehicle.
“Please help us women we are victims every day when we board matatus. This should be looked into. And passengers and people of Kenya help each other tafadhali. Hao watu definitely had bad motives for us. To them I was a piece of meat just because I chose not to enter a matatu. I wish I can say which matatu it was or if I can remember their faces but I don’t. And that is the sad part. There is no way of differentiating these people. Conductor hawana uniform. And the watu wa kujaza gari are scary as hell,” said Angela.