Kenya — Corruption Key Contributor to Traffic Accidents

  • Kenya’s traffic police have on many occasions been caught red-handed on camera pocketing bribes.
  • Seven were killed and scores were injured after a road accident along the main Eldoret-Malaba highway at Kaburengu.
  • Scenes of horrible accidents that could have been prevented if road safety measures and traffic rules were well-observed aren’t a new phenomenon in Kenya. 

Many road accidents continue being witnessed in Kenya with the widespread corruption in the country being blamed as a major contributor to the same. Kenya’s police department is no doubt a hotbed of corruption in the East African nation, and has on many occasions been rated as the most rotten in as far as corruption is concerned.

Market women are pictured on August 25, 2020 near the scene of an accident in kaburengu, Kakamega County, that left at least eight people dead.

Also, Kenya’s traffic police have on many occasions been caught red-handed on camera pocketing bribes in order to give leeway to road unworthy vehicles, as well as drunk, unqualified, and generally unprofessional drivers.

Seven Dead in Kaburengu Accident

Just three days ago, seven people lost their lives while scores others were left nursing severe injuries and broken limbs as an aftermath of a grisly road accident along the main Eldoret-Malaba highway at Kaburengu, a local shopping center within Western Kenya’s vast Kakamega county.

The accident occurred after a truck which was ferrying ballast from Eldoret town, destined for the western Kenya town of Webuye lost its breaks and hit a matatu before it crashed into local fresh vegetable vendors who were selling their goods on the roadside, killing seven of them on the spot.

Commenting on the accident, Kakamega Deputy County Police Commander James Ngetich said that those who were killed in the accident comprised of three women who were selling fresh vegetables on the roadside, two children and two touts. 

The police boss called upon motorists plying the highway to be extremely vigilant more so at the Kaburengu junction, a place which has historically recorded many grisly road accidents.

The driver of the ill-fated truck, however, survived after he jumped out of the moving vehicle. Whether he was sober and professional, and whether he was driving a roadworthy vehicle, are issues that have not been elaborated on yet.

Accident Claimed Over 50 Lives in 2018

Kenyan emergency personnel and security forces inspect the wreckage of a bus at the site of an accident in Kericho, western Kenya, on October 10, 2018.

Scenes of horrible accidents that could have been prevented if road safety measures and traffic rules were well-observed aren’t a new phenomenon in Kenya. 

On October 10th, 2018, an accident that happened in the country’s Kericho area claimed a whopping fifty-five lives after a 67 seater bus christened Homeboyz lost control and rolled several times in the steepy Kenya’s rift valley region.

Following the grisly 4 am accident, at least 40 people died on the spot in the accident which occurred on the Kisumu-Muhoroni highway at Fort Ternan area within Kericho county.

Following the accident, investigations by Kenya’s Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) later on established that the bus was after all not worth to be in operation as it wasn’t licensed to operate at night. 

 A survivor of the accident who spoke to a section of the local media from his hospital bed blamed the bus operators for the accident. He revealed that the bus was not only overloaded but it’s the driver was equally rude and unprofessional and wasn’t abiding by the road safety and traffic rules.  

“Some people were standing. We were about 70 people. And we could not complain because the crew was very arrogant. I could not have talked because they could have beat us up,” he said.

The survivor explained that before they reached Naivasha, a town not far from Nairobi, the passengers on the bus were jovial and they cracked jokes and laughed.

However, past Naivasha, the rogue driver began over-speeding, hence worrying and frightening the passengers.“The bus was swerving from side to side. This is when we realized that we were in danger,” added the survivor.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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