Transport on Kisumu-Busia road was paralyzed for the better part of the day after Matatu operators at Luanda market protested to castigate harassment and arbitrary arrest by Vihiga County askaris.
The operators who operate on the highway blocked vehicles plying on Busia–Kisumu-Kakamega-Siaya road causing a heavy traffic jam.
The charged protestors destroyed County revenue collecting tolls and offices forcing the revenue collectors to run for their lives.
The County lost revenue after no matatu and traders paid the tax to the County in the standstilll.
Being market day at Luanda, Vihiga’s largest open-air market, traders were forced to close their businesses for fear of looting by the charged public who joined the matatu operators in the protest.
The operators chased away Luanda base commander Hannington Mwazonga, and Emuhaya OCPD Benson Kilonzo accusing them of working in cahoots with rogue County askaris to fleece them of their money.
Those who spoke to the press decried the fact that the County askaris arrest them and hold them in a Kangaroo court located at the market where they are asked to part with money.
They said when one is arrested by the askaris he must give them a minimum of Kshs 3,000 as fine.
They also said those who fail to give protection fee to police and the County askaris are framed with traffic offences and arraigned in court. “We are tired of harassment and arbitrary arrests by County askaris of Vihiga county government based at Luanda town. When they arrest you, they hold you in a Kangaroo court located at the market and fine you a minimum of 3,000 shillings. If you fail to give the money they take you to Luanda police station where fake offenses are levelled against you,” they decried.
The operators said they will continue with their protest until the area Governor Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo intervenes and rescues them from the marauding askaris.
Luanda town County officer in charge of enforcement at the market Simon Asubwa said those who were protesting are the culprits who wrongly park and pick passengers at the market.
“Those matatu operators mostly touts are the one breaking the law by parking and picking passengers along the road instead of going to Bus Park,” said Asubwa.