By Samuel Ouma
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji has ordered investigations into the horrendous accident that claimed 58 lives in Kericho County early Wednesday morning.
In his statement to the Inspector General police Joseph Boinnet, Haji wants those behind the fatal crash be brought to book.
“In exercise of the powers confirmed in me, I hereby direct that you cause the investigation into the matter to determine the persons who may have, through acts of commission or omission, contributed either directly or indirectly into the occurrence of the same,” reads the part of the statement.
The ill-fated bus christened Home boyz was ferrying passengers from Nairobi to Western part of the country. The 62-seater bus journey came at an end at Fort-Ternan few minutes past four in the morning (Kenyan Time), few hours to reach its destination.
According to survivors, the vehicle veered off the road while descending a steep slope, ran over a guard rail, rolled and plunged down about 20 meters and landed on a rocky spot. 32 people including men, women and children died on the sport and 26 died in various hospitals as they receive medication.
“When we got to Tunnel, the bus was at high speed. It swerved dangerously. We began shouting and suddenly silence ensued. I passed out,” narrated Joseph Oponyo, a survivor
Survivors have shifted blame to the bus crews saying their arrogance killed many innocent people. The Home boyz bus is also alleged to have carried excess people and a load of luggage. It had no safety belts.
“Some people were standing. We were about 70 people. And we could not complain because the crews were very arrogant. I could not have talked because they could have beaten us up,” another survivor revealed.
It is also claimed that sleep and fatigue could have overwhelmed the driver, 72-year -old identified as Lucas who was reported to have driven from Kisumu to driver, a journey which takes about 8 hours. He had no co-driver as required by the law.
The owner of the bus Cleophas Shimanyula has shelved his drivers from the claims that his driver might have been under the influence of the alcohol. He described him as an old veteran.
“What happened is quite unfortunate since we have operated for the last 16 years without our vehicles being involved in fatal accidents,” he said.
The Director General of the National Transport and Safety Authority Francis Meja, agency in charge of safety on roads, divulged that the bus had no license to operate at night.
“This vehicle had no license to transport passengers at night and the owners will have to take responsibility,” said Mr. Meja.
The bus is alleged to have no fixed travel schedule and they can be seen picking up passengers along the way. The owner also does not keep records of passengers and tickets have no seat numbers which means you jump onto any seat once you buy a ticket.
The crash is one of the atrocious accidents in the country, the latest being last year December which claimed 36 lives in an accident on the Salgaa black spot, Nakuru County, after a Nairobi bound bus from Western collided head-on with a truck at 3:30 am (Kenyan time).