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Kenyans mourn victims as police arrest two owners of ill-fated bus

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Police in Kakamega last night arrested Western Cross Express Sacco founders Cleophas Shimanyula and Bernard Shitiabayi for  questioning over the Fort Tertan in Kericho county.

The arrest followed an earlier vow by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and NTSA director general Francis Meja that the directors of the ill-fated  Homeboyz  bus were  being sought by police to be charged for operating at night without a licence.

And as Kenyans were trying to come terms with senseless slaughter of 56 travellers that   added to the already high toll of raod victims in the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta   mourned the victims.

Uhuru urged drivers to exercise caution while on the roads to avoid such catastrophic incidents and wished those in hospital quick recovery.

“My heartfelt condolences to the families of fellow Kenyans who lost lives in a tragic road accident at Fort Ternan in Kericho and wish those in hospital quick recovery. As authorities investigate the cause of the accident with a view of taking action, I would like to remind drivers to always exercise caution to avoid such catastrophic incidents,” said the President.

Deputy President William Ruto said the nation is united in grief following the tragedy. “We condole with the affected families and wish quick recovery to the injured. PSV companies must adhere to road safety rules; ensure their drivers are not fatigued and administer refresher driving courses to staff,” Ruto said.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga appealed to police officers to arrest the ‘return of madness’ on the roads. Raila tweeted: “I send my deepest condolences to the friends and families who have lost their loved ones in the horrific accident that occurred at Fort Ternan. May the souls of all the departed rest in eternal peace.”

Ford Kenya party leader, Moses Wetang’ula also tweeted: “The return of the nightmare on our roads through accidents is unwelcome. Offenders must be punished to deter recklessness. Law enforcers sleeping on the job are equally guilty! I condemn the Fort Ternan accident. Victims’ families must be compensated.”

Baringo Senator, Gideon Moi also mourned the 56 people and appealed to motorists to be careful on the roads and observe traffic rules all the time. He urged the police to continue being vigilant on the roads to ensure compliance to traffic rules by road users.

“I send my heartfelt condolences to families who lost their loved ones following the Londiani-Muhoroni accident which has claimed 50 (toll rose to 56) lives. The loss of lives is devastating especially to families and shocking to the nation…I wish to call on doctors attending to the survivors to diligently do their best to save lives,” Gideon said in a statement.

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi termed the accident “yet another blot on the country’s traffic (rules) enforcement agencies”.

Black spot

“The scene of the disaster is a known black spot that remains unmanned even as the death toll from accidents at the spot has continued to increase. Part of the problem at the black spot is poor road design. The road snakes dangerously through winding steep slopes, while the tunnel flyover is a death trap,” said Mudavadi in a statement.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr said: “Our condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in the grisly accident in Londiani. I pray for quick recovery for the injured. Our emergency preparedness, response and recovery is wanting. Our bill on disaster management needs to expedited.”

While Senator Millicent Omanga mourned: “Death is never easy to accept, but I know that when it is so unexpected it adds to the grief. My heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the 50 souls lost in the e accident. My prayers are with you and I share in your grief. The government through the relevant ministry needs to re-enforce measures for PSV late night travelling. May they rest in peace.”

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