Bully Tea Room matatu tout linked to top officers
A matatu tout accused of assaulting passengers at Tea Room in Nairobi allegedly works with senior police officers to collect bribes from drivers, the Daily Nation has learnt.
Mr Felix Mwingirwa, fellow touts said, is very close with police officers and is tasked with collecting bribes from matatu drivers for those attached to the traffic bases in Nairobi and depositing the money in bank accounts.
Officers attached to Central Police Station have labelled him “untouchable”, as he has never been arrested despite accusations of assault by other touts and passengers.
Last week, the National Police Service issued a statement saying the tout had three pending assault cases in court.
RELEASED ON BAIL
He was later arrested and charged, but denied the charges and was released on a Sh50,000 cash bail.
On Monday, two witnesses – Mr John Mwaniki and Mr John Kithinji – in a case where Mr Mwingirwa is accused of assaulting a passenger on January 30, 2018, were arrested by police officers said to be drawn from Central Police Station. During the January incident, the tout is said to have injured the passenger, leaving him for dead.
However, the two witnesses, who claimed to have tried to help the assaulted passenger, were arrested on Sunday, with junior officers at Central claiming the arrests followed “orders from above”.
“I really don’t know why they were arrested, but anything is possible with Msanii, (Mwingirwa) because he is really connected. He has senior police officers who protect him,” said an officer.
According to the officer, Mr Mwingirwa works with police officers to collect “protection fees”, going into hundreds of thousands of shillings per day, from matatu drivers, and hotel and bar owners.
FEARED FOR LIVES
Although the Daily Nation and NTV crew did not find the tout at the matatu stage Tuesday, those in the area refused to divulge details, saying they feared for their lives.
“Even if we tell you everything, this man will not go to jail. Rather, we are the ones who will end up being accused of things we have not done,” a tout said, adding that Mr Mwingirwa was linked to some of the top police officers who own matatus in the city.
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti on Monday directed Central Police Station to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the conduct of the tout.
“No one is untouchable. A criminal is a criminal and I will not tolerate this,” said Mr Kinoti, adding that he would personally visit the station to deal with the matter.