The Star (Nairobi)

19 December 2012

Kenya: Meru Touts Assault Reporters

A group of touts and taxi operators attacked two journalists from Meru at the Meru-Mikinduri road.Rose Nyawira and Jeff Mwangi were gathering information at Mikinduri stage on vehicles flouting traffic rules on the route when they were attacked by the group of more than 100 men demanding their cameras.

Nyawira is a correspondent with Kameme FM and K24 while Mwangi works at MTV and QTV. They reported the attack at Mikinduri police station where they accused businessman Michael Mutembei of masterminding the attack.

Mutembei owns a fleet of probox vehicles used as taxis on the route."He offered one of his Land Rovers to ferry the youth to the stage where we were. They descended on us with kicks and blows. They ruined my hair and tore my colleague's clothes demanded the camera he was trying to shield," said Nyawira.

The two were following up on the adherence to the new traffic rules of vehicles plying the route. The matatu operators are notorious for flouting the rules allegedly under the protection of traffic policemen.

The vehicles carry excess passengers with some in the boot, three passengers at the front next to the driver and four at the back seat. The drive compartment seats two passengers and the back seat three.

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