Mr Andrew Mburu Mbugua will never forget the incident during which a drunk matatu driver blocked him and came out to rain kicks and blows with the help of touts all because he gave way to another driver at a junction slowing down traffic in the process.
Four minutes was all it took to knock out his teeth, give him a red eye and break three of his ribs.
The 42-year-old father of one had an altercation with the matatu crew at the Rabai and Mumias roads junction in Nairobi’s Buruburu estate. The matatu crew were enraged that Mr Mbugua was delaying them by giving way to the motorist.
Eventually, the woman who was on the other vehicle crossed over and normal flow of traffic resumed. But little did Mr Mburu know what awaited him.
“A minute later just after the Buruburu phase five stage, I saw the Nadra matatu speeding towards my car and I slowed down as they were about to overtake, they swerved towards my side and I braked hard as the matatu blocked us,” recalls Mr Mburu.
The four touts hanging on the matatu door started hurling insults at him before the driver alighted and walked towards the car, pulling him out.
“’Calvo’ as I could hear the rest calling him punched me on the face and immediately the rest of the crew joined in with kicks and blows making me fall hard on the tarmac and literally pushing me under the car,” said Mr Mburu.
For four minutes, the men kicked and punched him as his wife Lucy Wacu Mburu froze in shock.
“I was traumatised and in deep shock as I have lived in Buruburu all my life and knew these guys well. I expected passengers inside the matatu and bystanders to help stop them but people were just watching and recording videos with their phones,” said the mother of one.
As she screamed for help, she could see her husband’s face covered in blood that was oozing from the nose and mouth.
It was one passenger, a Mr Kuria who jumped out of the Nadra matatu and stopped his attackers, telling them they would have to kill him first before killing Mr Mburu. The matatu crew quickly boarded the vehicle and sped away from the scene as Mrs Mburu was helped by some people to get her husband into their vehicle.
She drove to the nearby Aga Khan Hospital clinic where Mr Mburu was given first aid.
“As we were heading to Kenyatta National Hospital, we made a stopover at the Nadra matatu owner’s premises and narrated what had happened even showing him my injured husband. Interestingly he said his matatu was not at fault adding that it was the ‘squad’ driver at fault who was not his employee,” said Mrs Mburu.
Police in Buruburu have since arrested and arraigned one of the suspects while three others are still on the run.
“We arrested three people, the driver conductor and a tout. Two of them said they were not with the vehicle that day. We conducted an identification parade and one was identified and arraigned in court but did not take a plea pending the P3 form which the victim had gone to acquire. The vehicle is still detained at the police station,” said Buruburu OCPD Geoffrey Mayek.
Mr Mburu, who has been nursing his injuries while hoping that the crew on the run will soon be arrested, was in his younger days a tout.
“But during our days crews were disciplined and respectful,” he recalls and appeals to National Transport and Safety Authority to not only enforce traffic rules but also crews conduct.