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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Kisumu residents to sue government for deaths on black spot

The families of close to 30 people  who have so far perished in fatal road accidents at Kajulu junction  police road blocks are contemplating to file a legal suit against the Kenya government to compensate them for their dead loved ones and relatives.
The notorious death spot is located at the junction of Kisumu-MiwaniI-Kisumu-Kakamega highway. So far close to 40 people have lost their lives at this particular spot.
Despite persistent request by the residents that the police road block which has featured prominently as the death spot, be dismantled and  be erected at a suitable but a safe place, the police in Nyanza have defiantly ignore the pleas and have continued erecting the road block, which has become a permanent feature.
The death spot is below a stiff slope. Motorists driving from Kakamega and down the slope usually lose their brakes, especially heavy trucks and buses and ploughs. Matatus stopped by police at this spot for traffic checks, and at times such vehicles on losing their brakes kill pedestrian walking along the road.
There has been public outcry by members of the public who have lost their relatives to the provincial administration an police authorities in Kisumu that the roadblock should  be dismantled and erected elsewhere should the need be, but the police did not hear of this.
Among those who have died on this spot include the Benga Maestro Daniel Owino Misiani of the DO Misiani Shirati Jazz Band. Four police officers have also perished  at this notorious spot when the vehicle on which they were traveling in was hit by a heavy truck which had lost its brakes and plough their vehicle.
Three MPs representing Kisumu East, Kisumu Town Central and Kisumu Town West have scathingly been criticised by the Kisumu city residents for having failed to impress upon the government of Kenya to remove this dangerous police roadblock for the sake of the dozens of dying citizens.
The case of Kajulu junction police road block’s death spot could  be as major campaign issue during the next general election and the MPs representing the three parliamentary constituencies in the area could lose their seats for having kept mum over this grave situation The statistics obtained from the courts in Kisumu indicate that there were no serious traffic offences detected by the police at this particular road block is used by police for money collection from matatus and Probox vehicles ferrying passengers on this road pays Sh100 each
Heavy trucks, buses and other motorists usually pass undisturbed, but it has been noted that the road block is specifically targeting matatus and Probox vehicles not even county buses passing through the spot.
As the matatus are stopped here, passengers in matatus which are usually stopped by police for checking at the spot are exposed to danger of being runover by trucks which lose their brakes while coming from the stiff hills from the Kakamega side.
According to a Kajulu Mamboleo resident Odhiambo Okwatch, police are free to erect road blocks anywhere on the road in order to check on rogue motorists but such road blocks should be erected in safe areas to avoid the unnecessary loss of lives as it has happened at Kajulu-Mamboleo junction in the past three years.
Another Kisumu resident John Olang’o appealed to Uhuru Kenyatta to compel the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet to  intervene on the matter  and to stop his men from erecting roadblocks at dangerous road spots in order to save lives.
Olango who is said to be eyeing Kisumu Central parliamentary seat which is currently held by Ken Obura who is being accused by the electorate of sleeping on the job said that the numerous fatal roads accidents which have claimed dozens of lives have slowed down business in Kisumu as traders from Kakamega and other parts of Western province who usually visit wholesale stores in Kisumu were now afraid of using this road to access their supplies from stores  in the lakeside city
Other MPs include Olago Aluoch and Shabir Ahmed.