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Monday, March 12, 2007

Chilling Eyewitness Account Of Coast Bus Hijacking

Hijackers "Inspected" Women Passengers' Private Parts With Torches Before Rape

I managed to track down an eyewitness of the ill-fated Coast Bus Hijacking that happened last weekend (Saturday night) and yesterday I sat horrified and sickened as he described in great detail his ordeal of pure horrendous terror in the hands of armed thugs, together with other passengers somewhere in the bush near Emali.

Let me say that some Kenyans live in ignorant bliss and seem to get very upset when served with the often unpalatable truth. One reader of the popular Mashada site got very upset reading my article on this issue which had been re-posted there by somebody. Especially when I revealed that Matatus in Nairobi are hijacked all the time and women passengers raped, sometimes in full view of the other passengers. This reader was sure that I had made up the whole thing and did not mince his words. He asked me to produce evidence, calling me a liar. He just could not believe that such a serious thing would go unreported or half-reported in the mainstream media. Well, sir, if you are still out there reading this, here is a perfect example of something that was half-reported with all the gory details being carefully left out.

It is instructive that the Coast Bus headed for Mombasa from Nairobi, passed several police checks and on some of them thorough inspection for weapons was carried out. Our eyewitness believes that the weapons used in the incident were not on the bus until somewhere in Makutano (junction of Machakos Road and the main Nairobi Mombasa highway—where the sixth hijacker boarded the bus carrying a bulky bag.) Interestingly after this point, the bus passed only one additional roadblock and then there were no more until the time the thugs took control of the bus at Emali. This clearly illustrates the fact that the gangsters had done their homework well. Even more interesting is the fact that one of them was seen by several passengers with a two-way radio similar to the ones the police use and was discreetly seen using it. Was he listening in on police communication? Admittedly two way radios are common these days and anybody can acquire one, if they go through the proper licensing procedures. However in view of what happened that night, this is bound to raise lots of suspicion.

"I sat next to one of the hijackers," our eyewitness picks up the tale, "and he kept in fiddling with his mobile phone sending and receiving messages. He finally spoke to somebody on the phone, most probably the person he had been sending and receiving messages from, shortly before the gang took control of the bus. They spoke in Kikamba so I could not understand what they were saying."

"At Emali, I suddenly heard two loud gun shots and on looking up I realized that a man right at the front whom I had earlier noticed being very friendly to the policemen who boarded the bus to carry out searches at the road blocks, had shot dead the driver of the bus. The thug had even earlier conversed in Kalenjin to one of the policemen."

Passengers were then told to lie down on the floor of the bus and anybody who would show as much as their head would get shot immediately. The bus was then diverted and driven into the bushes for about 10 kilometres. Emali is before Kibwezi and Mtito Andei on the way to Mombasa from Nairobi.

Passengers were then ordered to surrender their mobile phones and cash.

Our eyewitness says: "I was still on the floor when I heard a commotion with one of the thugs saying that a passenger had attempted to conceal their mobile phone. Again two shots rang out and I feared the worst. Later we discovered that miraculously both bullets had only grazed the top of his head and the man survived the ordeal." The would be victim may have been helped by the fact that the place was pitch dark and the only source of light were the powerful flash lights used by the thugs.

After the loot had been gathered, the entire luggage was taken down from the bus and the contents carefully inspected, anything of value was taken. At the end of the ordeal there was a confusion of all the personal effects from the various bags mixed together in one huge pile on the ground outside the bus.

The thugs then started literally stripping the women passengers naked and carefully inspecting their private parts with the powerful flash lights they were carrying. Our eyewitness says he thought he saw one of the thugs actually try to smell one of the women's private parts. A few women were dismissed as being "sick and infected". The women selected for rape were about four in number and the six thugs then raped them in turns using condoms. Which clearly illustrates that they had come prepared, knowing exactly what they were going to do after they had robbed the passengers. This happened in the open field area where the bus had been stopped.

The women had earlier pleaded with the thugs not to carry out the rape but to no avail. Our eyewitness says that their desperate pleadings and begging still occasionally rings in his ears.

"Those guys can't have been human. All elements of being human had departed from them," the eyewitness quipped to this writer.

The whole ordeal lasted about 3 hours.

What is frightening is that the arithmetic of the whole crime doesn't make any sense. Assuming that the bus was carrying about 70 passengers each carrying an average of Kshs 2,000 and a mobile phone (which would be sold at about 2,000 being so "hot") that would have yielded a total of Kshs 280,000. Assume that there was an extraordinarily high amount of cash on the bus and even double that figure and you would still get Kshs 560,000. Divide that by six and you get a paltry 93,333 for each gang member and that does not even take into account the costs of the operations and the fact that others who assisted would have had to be paid. Hardly the sort of money worth carrying out such a violent capital offence crime for. And that is the really scary thing about escalating crime in Kenya.

It seems that the view of the police is that this kind of information should be kept from the public at all costs to avoid widespread panic. Is this really the fair? Are we not endangering people's lives more when they do not have information on what is really going on in Kenya so that they can assess the risks for themselves and take necessary precautions? For instance companies would opt to send male employees on bus trips out of town, rather than female ones. But with the kind of ignorance prevailing currently where some Kenyans believe that I make up some of the information on this site, then this would be impossible. Incidentally the incident I have just described at Emali is too sickening even for somebody to imagine and create.

Our eyewitness was still in shock as he narrated the whole horrible tale to me, even despite the fact that it was slightly over a week since the incident happened. He however told this writer that he is a born-again Christian and God protected him and sustained him through it all and he is grateful to be unharmed and alive.

Real Gikuyu man answers lonely frustrated beauty who complained to Kumekucha about her lovers of the past.


Taabu said...

We have become a country of beast with no morals, period. Chris, you have no apoligies nor justification to make for those doubting these horrific tales. Kenya is awash with all shades of sin some of which would make rapes look like a baptsmal ceremony.

The police force is in a state of denial with the false belief that information bottled is information killed. How wrong they are because form one physics would inform them that like sound, information has defraction and interference characteristics that make it seep through all obstacles.

All those doubting the authenticity of these rape odeals are no better than the Kenyan police and are equally guilty by commission. We need a reality check and confron our jungle mentality of going for leather at hell price - wealth at any price.

Tru, SA may be violent but it has working institutions unlike ours where everything is personalized if not regionalized. We must have a break from the past and business-as-usual approach to life lest we spiral into abyss which we are unwittingly inviting in our midst.

Quality leadership is the key. An independent police force that doesn't operate in fear of arrogant and colonially-weaned politicians. I know this sounds more like a cliche but until we open our eyes, we remain groping in the dark and m,ust be ready to entertain all the unpleasantries lurking there.

Princess said...

This is so perturbing!! The security in Kenya has just seriously taken a turn for the worse and it just infuriates me that women end up being raped all the time!!!

The police need to start notifying the public about these incidents rather than try to cover them up!!

Vee said...

Christ don't apologize for someone's disbelief as to what is really happening in our country. I've heard similar stories. I am torn between entering public transportation with the fear of such a horrendous occurrence happening or using private means and being shot dead just cause I reached over to remove my safety belt. My friend's dad was shot dead last week as he went to buy meat for the family. Some young people had tried to hijack another car but that didn't go well. So they needed a get away car... such is fate in this country.

There is currently a discussion on the possibility of finally exploring a shoot-to-kill policy in Kenya. Join it on

Odegle said...

I think as Kenyans, we also need to take responsibility for our security. once the bus leaves nairobi going to mombasa and after being inspected at central police station, why do passengers allow the driver to stop and pick more people on the way? one time when i was going to kisumu, the akamba bus i was in stopped on moi avenue and picked almost 20 more passengers, we then proceeded to uthiru and the guys picked more pple. all these passengers were standing in total disregard of michuki rules. i tried in vain to protest. the driver and his conductor refused to listen to me. what was worse was that those passengers dared me to alight if i was not happy. but more suprising was that my fellow passengers who had already been frisked and had paid premium did not support me. my calls to akamba offices went un answered. now with this kind of apathy, why would we be suprised when thugs ran amok this way? there was no telling which of those passengers could have been a thug armed with a kalashnikov!

Anonymous said...

The moment the thugs shot and killed someone is the moment they should never have been allowed to walk away alive. Let alone actually going around raping women in full view of everybody else.


Even sicker: 63 out of 70 people (not counting the dead driver and the 6 thugs) are out-manoeuvred and traumatised by only 6 men.

No wonder we all all such lame bastards full of so much bullshit we have began to like the taste of it. We don't deserve to be called Men if this is how we act when push comes to shove. Imagine if this had happened in Eastleigh to the Somalis there? What do you think would have happened to the thugs?

This all just sickens my heart.

alvaro said...

Njoki Ndung'u, where are you? Sick men all around!

Anonymous said...

Kenyan males are cowards. We sit and watch women being raped. We also sit and watch our nation beingdestroyed by Railas and Kibakis and we cheer them on like idiots who cant think.
Pathetic lot we are, i agree.Mos Kenyan men are so timid like women.

Kennedy said...

This is all true fellow Kenyans. My was traveling home from work yesterday July 3rd 2012 and the bus was hijacked in a similar fashion. Fortunately a cop car followed the bus because the bus was taking a route that no buses should. This thing is real and we hope that the media in Kenya get a hold of such stories and publish them so that passengers can be more careful. Thank God all the passengers in that bus my brother was traveling are fine.

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