Boda boda operators protest the death of one of their colleagues

Transport along the busy Kutus – Kagio/Sagana highway in Kirinyaga County was paralysed for the better part of Tuesday after irate boda boda operators barricaded the road protesting the killing of three of their colleagues by motorists.

The angry demonstrators also protested over the poor state of the road saying that the road is filled with pot holes and has become a death trap to motorists plying the busy highway.

The protesters in their hundreds engaged police in running battles with the police lobbing several teargas canisters in the air to disperse them.

Motorists plying along the route were forced to use the longer Makutano/Mwea route to travel to Nairobi as the road was completely sealed off by the irate riders.

Speaking to the press, the operators claimed they took the action to force the government improve the section of the road and minimise accidents, many of them involving the cycle operators.

The group chairman James Muriuki blamed the county government of sabotaging the improvement of the road after the council of governors went to court over the control of road funds.

Muriuki said as a result, the tendering of the improvement of the road was stopped until the case is heard and determined.

He said one of the operators died this morning after he was hit by a speeding saloon car as he avoided hitting a pothole at Kangaru area.

A prominent Kirinyaga businessman Peter Ngirichi however managed to cool down the agitated demonstrators and promised to take their grievances to the county government offices.

He said it was unfortunate that innocent people continue to lose their lives due to negligence of some few people in the government.

Ngirichi termed the Kirinyaga county administration as a big let down and vowed to mobilize the residents to vote them out come next general election.

But Kirinyaga County Executive Committee member in charge of roads Dr Peter Muthike defended the county government saying that the road in question is under the control of the national government.

By Irungu Mwangi

Source: Kenya News Agency