A NAZIGI SACCO bus driver, conductor and another have been sentenced to death by hanging after being found guilty of robbery with violence and sexually assaulting a lady in their bus.
Edward Gitau, Nicholas Mwangi and Meshak Mwangi were accused of sexually assaulting the lady as she was about to alight by inserting their fingers in her private parts and stealing her belongings worth Sh 41,000.
While delivering the judgement, Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi said that he was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the three committed the two offences, adding that the offence was committed in the most heinous and disrespectful manner.
“It is important to respect other human beings as we are all equal and will die equal,” the magistrate noted.
The magistrate added that it is not a joke to bring a woman into such humiliation adding that her decency should be protected.
Andayi said that many uncultured men out there would touch a woman’s behind and take it as a joke adding that it takes courage to admit such an action is offensive and the complainant stood ground by slapping the 1st accused person who touched her behind.
“The complainant suffered greatly because of her right to privacy and defending herself,” said Andayi.
Intoxication of the complainant
The defense alleged that the complainant was too drunk that day and therefore her testimony could not be relied on.
In her testimony, the complainant admitted she had earlier had some alcoholic drinks with her friends and was getting on the bus to go home.
However, the magistrate said that he was not convinced that the lady was too drunk to be relied on as she was candid and honest in her testimony.
“It is true that the complainant remembered the bus she boarded, where she was seated, that the bus stopped at Roysambu and then went on to Githurai 44,” the magistrate said.
Andayi added that the complainant was sure that she saw the 1st accused at the door of the bus and at first thought that he was the conductor of the bus.
Touching her behind
When the complainant was at the door, the 1st accused touched her behind and thereafter she slapped him.
The 1st accused also slapped her hard and she fell down. This is when they started stripping her and in her defense she lied to them that she was HIV+.
This is when they grabbed her and started inserting their fingers in her private parts.
The court heard that after the despicable act, the complainant begged them to give her clothes back but the 1st accused told her to go naked.
However, one of them threw her clothes at her and then she ran across the road and got in too a taxi.
The conductor’s statement
The 2nd accused who was the conductor of the bus had denied his signed statement on grounds that he could not have written it because he does understand English as he only schooled up to class 4.
In his statement, he had admitted that he was at the scene and when he got inside the bus, his phone started recording.
However, the court noted that at one time, the 2nd accused answered questions in English thereby establishing that he understood the language well.
The magistrate said that he was not convinced that the conductor was part of the attackers because he admitted he was the conductor of the bus and worked night shift.
“The crime took a long time and therefore as the conductor, he could not have failed to notice what was happening inside the bus,” Andayi said.
The magistrate said that the complainant said that she has seen a phone light at one time and the second accused confirmed that he was at the bus and when he pressed a button on his phone it started recording.
3rd accused took off
The 3rd accused who was an employee on the Millennium petrol station where the incident took place ran away a day after the driver and the conductor were arrested.
The magistrate said that he could not see how the 3rd accused could have quit his job with no reason.
“He took off because he knew that he would be apprehended like the 1st and the 2nd accused persons,” Andayi said.
According to the 3rd accused boss who testified in the matter, the accused ran away with his Sh40, 000 for that day and returned a month after and gave back the money.
When he asked him why he had disappeared, he, the 3rd accused told him that he had left with regards to the incident of the lady stripped in a bus.
The accused defense
The 1st accused denied committing the act but admitted that he was the driver of the bus and worked from 2pm to 10pm.
He said that the complainant never knew him and only saw him at Kasarani police station during the parade.
He said that the complainant recognized the picture of the scorpion at the back of the bus which is also at the back of two other ‘buses’ he works for.
The 2nd accused also denied being involved in the heinous act but admitted that he was a conductor for all the three buses.
The third accused also denied any knowledge of the incident and only saw it on the news.
He said he left work that day to go and attend to his sick father at their home in Naivasha.
In her testimony, the complainant told the court that she did not the accused persons and therefore had no reason to give false testimony against them.
Particulars of the offence
The three are alleged to have committed the offences on September 19th 2014 at Millennium petrol station in Githurai 44.
They denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Lucy Mungau and have been in custody since then.