The High Court in Malindi has ordered Joseph Boinnet’s arrest. The court issued the arrest warrant against the police boss for contempt of court.
Warrants of arrest were also issued for National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) chairman Francis Meja, Traffic Department Commandant Jacinta Muthoni and Hared Adan, an enforcement officer with NTSA.
The four high-profile Kenyans are wanted for defying a May 10, 2017, court order that directed them not to interfere with the operations of Mombasa Raha buses operating under the Star Ways Express Ltd Sacco.
It followed an order for Sacco’s license to be withdrawn after one of their buses – Buscar – was involved in a gruesome accident in Kambu last month. The accident left more than 20 passengers dead with 23 others injured. Mombasa Raha belongs to the same Sacco as Buscar.
Sacco went to court and obtained orders instructing the police and NTSA to not interfere with its buses until the matter was heard on May 29.
The transport firm on Monday told the court that despite the order allowing the company to run until its scheduled hearing, State agencies had impounded its buses.
Director of Star Ways Ltd Sacco, Ali Abubakar, said NTSA officials and the police impounded a number of its buses on the road, leaving scores of passengers stranded. The impounding happened in many regions including Bamburi, Vipingo along the Mombasa-Malindi highway and Machakos.
“NTSA impounded all our buses plying the Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa, Nairobi and Kampala routes, including those that were on the road carrying passengers to their destinations. This has occasioned us inconveniences, huge and inconceivable business losses, unfair and unjust treatment, and also a waste of resources,” said Mr. Abubakar.
Following the impounding, 21 passengers were stranded at Kijipwa Police Station and 45 in Malindi as the company made frantic efforts to take them to Lamu.
According to Salim Swaleh, who was driving one of the buses, NTSA officers refused to accept the court orders. The driver said the police and NTSA were being unfair to apply collective punishment on the entire Sacco for an incident involving one member.
“NTSA officials have rejected the court order we were using on the road as the case went on in court. Being in the same Sacco as Busways doesn’t mean we carry the burden of another company. This is unfair and we condemn it.”
More to follow on the warrant for Joseph Boinnet’s arrest.