One of the things that has gone terribly wrong with the mainstream media in our beloved country is that they deliberately hold back a lot of information from Kenyans. Some of it would save lives or help many Kenyans stay safe. It seems that the policy is NOT to cause panic.
Inside a Coast bus similar to the one that was hijacked by gunmen in harrowing incident on the Nairobi Mombasa Road. (Read the story HERE. Be warned. The graphic nature of this tale may be upsetting.)
Let me give you an excellent example of what I am talking about. Statistics show that every day the Kenya police receive at least half a dozen reports of hijackings of public transport vehicles by gun totting thugs. Hardly any of these cases are reported in the media. In a significant number of these cases female passengers are raped. (Read this harrowing Kumekucha exclusive of a hijacking early last year on a Mombasa-bound bus where torches were used to examine women’s private parts before rape.)
Some of the routes most notorious for hijackings are the Nairobi-Kisii route and the Nairobi-Mombasa route.
We are already in the holiday season and you can be sure that these incidents are bound to go up as the concerned parties look for cash for Christmas. What precautions are the Kenya police taking to keep Kenyans safe? Are the numerous Police checks and road blocks all over the country as efficient in smoking out gun-carrying passengers as they are in collecting 50 bob notes from every public transport vehicle that passes their route? A Kumekucha informant was in a bus late at night recently and saw a policeman who was NOT a traffic cop receive cash from a matatu (so all cops now take cash from public transport vehicles and not just the traffic police.) The same informant witnessed the vehicle he was traveling in defying an order by the police to stop and speeding on. The driver quipped “Huyo amekula mia saa hii anataka nini tena?” (That one has taken a bribe of Kshs 100 just now what else does he want?).
As usual Kenyans are on their own. So my dear Kumekuchans please take the necessary precautions as you travel during this festive season. Avoid traveling at night. (be careful about early morning as well because there have been recent reports of early morning hijackings on major highways and even within Nairobi. Mercifully these incidents hardly ever involve the rape of passengers)
Secondly be very observant in the vehicle you are traveling in. Look out for young innocent-looking guys carrying big bags. Sometimes they communicate on cell phones telling somebody their exact locations. Usually Hijackings will be executed with some gang-members in the vehicle while their colleagues are on the route somewhere ready to ambush. Those in the bus or matatu then ask to be dropped off exactly where their colleagues are waiting.
Do have a safe holiday season and thank you for being part of the rapidly growing Kumekucha family.
Are you in Kenya or would you like to work in Kenya? Choose from plenty of Kenyan jobs available at this site.
Dream beach holidays near Mombasa this Christmas.