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Noordin Haji orders probe on insurer, body builder of killer bus

Fort tenan
The wreckage of the bus that crashed at Fort Ternan, on Londiani-Muhoroni road, in Kericho County on October 10, 2018, killing 58 people. PHOTO | ANITA CHEPKOECH | NMG 

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has ordered investigations on the insurance company and the body builder of the ill-fated bus that killed 58 people at Fort Ternan, Kericho County, last month.

In a statement, the DPP said the investigations will seek to establish why the company insured the bus despite obvious "defaults” and whether the firm is capable of meeting its financial obligations.

The investigations will also seek to ascertain whether the bus was built according to required specifications, Mr Haji said.

The bus rolled at Fort Ternan on October 10, killing 58 people and injuring 15 others.

The owner, Mr Bernard Isindu Shitiabayi, appeared before a Molo court and denied charges of operating the bus without a speed governor, operating it at night without a travel licence contrary to section 11(1) of the NTSA Act of 2013 and failing to register the names of the driver and the conductor of the killer bus contrary to Traffic Act.

Mr Cleophas Shimanyula, an agent of the sacco to which the bus was affiliated, is accused of failing to register the names of the driver and conductor as required by law.

'Michuki rules'

The two appeared in a Molo court on October 22, 2018, and denied the charges and were released on cash bail of Sh1 million. The case will be heard on November 28.

On October 25, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and his Interior counterpart Fred Matiang'i announced that there would be renewed enforcement of the so-called Michuki rules. 

The rules, introduced in 2003 by the no-nonsense powerful Cabinet minister for Transport John Michuki, will be enforced with more ruthlessness and discipline, the two ministers said.

The notice said public service vehicles will have to be fitted with speed governors and safety belts, and painted with a yellow line. Similarly, all PSV drivers and conductors will be required to wear uniforms and badges and prominently display their photos in the vehicles.

The matatu operators were given up to November 12 to comply with the rules.

On Monday, traffic police in Nairobi started a crackdown on unroadworthy vehicles and those that have not complied.​

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