A woman in Nairobi identified as Regina Wangui alongside her friend Maureen Ogwell found themselves as unlikely heroes after a video of them protesting against a rogue matatu crew went viral.
The women, both residents of Kawangware 46, boarded a matatu at the Nairobi Serena bus stop alongside others who were headed to Hurlingham via Gitanga Road but things did not go as planned.
Wangui spoke exclusively to Kenyans.co.ke on Monday, February 17, where she relived the incident which she intimated had left her and her new friend Ogwell angry and frustrated.
"I took this matatu at Serena but before I got in, I asked them if they were going to 46 (her destination) and they agreed. Everyone who came in asked the same question and were given the same answer. There is construction work ongoing and not all the matatus are going there right now," she began.
Wangui told this journalist that when the matatu got to the Congo bus stop, which in her opinion was almost three-quarters of the way, the matatu conductor informed them that it would not proceed any further.
She revealed that there was an alternate route that other matatus were using to get to 46 due to ongoing roadworks, but the driver and the conductor were adamant that they would not go that way.
"We were about five ladies in the matatu so we told them to give us over to another matatu that would take us to our destination. They refused to do that and also to refund part of our fare to take another matatu there," she narrated.
Wangui further told Kenyans.co.ke that when the conductor denied their request, they refused to alight from the matatu which was returning to the city promising to alight when the conductor and the driver would give in to their demands.
She stated that when the matatu got to the Railways Bus Stop in the CBD (effectively giving them a roundtrip), the conductor called upon his colleagues at the stage who swarmed the matatu and threatened her and other passengers forcing them to alight.
It was then that they approached a traffic officer on duty and reported the matatu, but one of the conductors approached and gave a different version of events. The officer, however, asked them to honour their promise to the passengers.
"Immediately the cop left, this guy disappeared, but we went back to the station to look for the matatu since we had asked someone on the outside to take the number plate before we alighted.
"When we got to the matatu, there was no one inside. I tried to take a picture on the number plate but some people at the stage came towards us shouting and we walked away fast and got into another matatu," she recounted.
Wangui reiterated that it was not the first time that such events were taking place, indicating that she had experienced the same as recently as Monday.
By the time of going to the press, Regina had reported the incident to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) who promised to investigate the incident following the social media storm that the case generated.
Here is the Video:
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