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Court to visit Mutindwa accident scene

A court will on Friday visit the scene of an accident where a commuter train rammed a bus killing 12 passengers at Mutindwa area.

Makadara senior principal magistrate Mr Timothy Okello will also set bond terms for the driver of the Umoinner bus who has been in police custody for the last one week.

The decision to visit the accident scene followed an application by lawyer Ayora Samwel, representing the driver Mr Edward Githae Wanjau, who said the scene had been tampered with.

“Because of the fast changing scenario, I will visit the scene tomorrow (Friday),” said the magistrate in his ruling.

Prosecution counsel Simon Muriuki did not oppose the application but said prosecution intends to add more charges to the accused.

Granting bond

Mr Muriuki said police are yet to complete investigations but are not opposed to granting the accused a bond.

Mr Wanjau has been charged with nine counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of driving a vehicle across the railway line without care and driving without a driver’s public service license.

He is accused of causing the death of Alphonce Omondi, Samuel Kamau, Mathew Minahem, Aggrey Kagame, Rebecca Otieno, Joseph Kirem, Danson Musau , Zipporah Njeri and Teresia Ndirangu.

The government suspended the operations of Umoinner Sacco buses following the Mutindwa bus-train crash.

Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau said all drivers from the Sacco had to seek clearance from the Traffic department before resuming operations.

Umoinner released

Meanhwile, at least 20 Umoinner vehicles were released from police custody on Wednesday night to resume operations in the Umoja route.

Speaking to Nairobi News on Thursday, Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru said the 24 vehicles had been inspected and verified.

“We are yet to release four more vehicles. Other vehicles will be released at a later date after verification of documents and complete inspection of the vehicles,” he said.

Curiously, Umoinner Sacco officials claimed all their 66 vehicles that had been impounded and detained at the traffic police headquarters in Ruaraka had been released.

“All the vehicles were released. Some of them have been taken by their owners, while others are still at station waiting to be taken,” said the group’s treasurer John Wanyeri.

Repainting

All is not well for the Sacco though. Police are investigating reports that some Umoinner vehicles repainted to look like other Sacco in order to avoid the police crackdown.

On Thursday an operator who had repainted his vehicle was arrested in Kayole.

Mr Kimaru said the police would prefer several charges against him.

“We will check the colour of the vehicle and perform a complete inspection of the vehicle. We will charge the owner. It is sad because the Sacco failed to give us the full list of its vehicles which are over 100,” said Mr Kimaru.

Umoinner Sacco moved to court last week to challenge the authenticity of an order by the National Transport and Safety Authority that grounded their vehicles. The case is due on Friday.