In a striking turn of events, a bus conductor and driver from Nairobi, Kenya found themselves in the dock after an audacious act of larceny. The two stood accused of stealing their employer’s public transport vehicle, locally known as a ‘matatu,’ right from Mwiki Police Station’s confines. They subsequently admitted to the charges, confirming their role in this highly unconventional crime.
The accused, conductor Caleb Abinayo and driver Kelvin Kamau Macharia, appeared before Chief Magistrate Francis Kyambia in Nairobi’s Makadara Law Courts. They were indicted with pilfering a 14-seater matatu, valued at Sh800,000, belonging to their employer, Boniface Waithaka, on May 8, 2023.
The authorities initially considered an alternative charge of handling stolen goods, given that the pair were found in possession of the matatu in Mai Mahiu, Nakuru County, on May 11, 2023. However, the court dismissed the notion as the two readily confessed to the theft.
Separately, Abinayo faces an additional charge of disseminating false information to public service employees. Specifically, he falsely reported to the police constables, including John Kago, that his matatu had been stolen from the Mwiki Police Station yard on May 8, 2023.
The matatu had initially been apprehended and placed in police custody for inspection. However, it was Abinayo who audaciously drove the matatu out of the station, later returning to claim ownership of the supposedly stolen vehicle. He further complicated matters by officially registering a theft report with the police.
The plot thickened when the actual owner, Mr. Waithaka, arrived at the station, reporting his vehicle missing. Producing the vehicle’s logbook and revealing the presence of a tracking device, the bus was traced to Mai Mahiu.
In response, officers at Mwiki Police Station issued a nationwide alert for the matatu. It was subsequently intercepted and impounded in the Gatarakwa area in Mai Mahiu, leading to the arrest of Abinayo and Macharia.
Pending the formalities of a conviction and sentencing, the two have been remanded in custody until May 15, 2023. In the forthcoming trial, the prosecution plans to present pictures of the impounded vehicle currently held at Mwiki Police Station as evidence