Kenya: Court Remands 16 In Custody Over Road Attack On Woman
A Kenyan court on Thursday ordered 16 motorcycle taxi riders to be remanded in custody for a fortnight over a vicious attack on a female motorist as police hunted for the alleged ringleader of the assault. The young woman was also attacked in daylight hours by a gang of taxi riders commonly known as boda-boda after a traffic
accident on the Friday, police said. Sixteen riders were rounded up Monday after a viral video of the incident showed the men grabbing at the woman's clothing and groping her as she screamed for help from inside the car, whose door had been forced open. On Thursday, the Nairobi magistrate's court ruled that the case was "of
public interest" and ordered the suspects to remain in custody for 15 days to allow police time to complete investigations. The attack has also sparked a furore in the Kenya, with President Uhuru Kenyatta ordering a crackdown on motorcycle taxis this week. Transport authorities have since carried out random checks on
riders, prompting many unlicensed drivers to stay off the roads and causing fares to shoot up as a result. The alleged ringerleader of the attack has however evaded arrest, escaping through a sewer duct in the capital Nairobi as the police pursued him, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said in a statement. It is only a
matter of time before we also arrest him, the Police said, ordering him to also surrender within 24 hours. Motorcycle, taxi drivers in Kenya are typically young men and are notorious for breaching the highway code and assaulting drivers after collisions. The 2 wheelers are also a popular mode of transport in the East Africa's
economic powerhouse, which lacks a proper public commuter system. The riders have often been accused by campaign groups of snatch-and grab robberies and harassing other road users, with abuses often ranging from derogatory comments to rape. Boda-boda riders were in 2019 classified as a "threat to national security" by an interior ministry research unit.