Angry boda boda operators in Karatina town in Nyeri County on Thursday night, March 11, flushed out three suspected motorcycle theft suspects and killed two of them as police officers watched helplessly.
The mob claimed that the two suspected thieves were allegedly behind the killings of six boda boda operators.
In a rare show of the might of the mob, the operators in their hundreds stormed Karatina Hospital, overpowered the security team and police officers guarding two suspects who had earlier been rescued from them.
However, one of the three suspects who had been seized by the boda boda riders escaped their wrath and is currently being guarded by a reinforced team of police officers dispatched to the hospital following the incident.
The mob killing comes in the backdrop of brutal killings of six motorcycle operators in the last six months in separate cases.
The drama unfolded during the day when the boda boda mob arrested the three suspects and started beating them up.
But police officers were tipped off and rushed to the scene where they dispersed the mad crowd and took the suspects to the Karatina Sub-County Hospital, a level IV hospital.
Unsatisfied, the boda boda operators regrouped and went to the suspects’ homestead at Ndaroini village in the outskirts of Karatina town where they set their houses on fire.
After torching the suspects’ houses, the mob, numbering in hundreds, stormed the hospital and pulled out two of the suspects who were in the casualty wing.
They dragged them outside the hospital gate, beat them up and set their bodies on fire.
Efforts by the two officers to rescue the two by shooting in the air, bore no fruit. None of the boda boda operators seemed to fear the bullets or scattered to hide from the sound of gunfire.
Confirming the incident, Mathira East Police Boss James Barasa said that his officers were overpowered by the operators with the support of members of the public angered by the killings of boda boda men.
“It’s true the two have been flushed from hospital and killed by operators. They managed to do this unlawful act after overpowering our officers. However, we have managed to save one of the suspects who is currently being treated,” said Barasa.
The boda boda, operators through their association, had threatened to take action following what they say is police laxity in apprehending those behind the killings of colleagues by motorcycle thieves.