Nairobi – Kenyan police said on Monday they had arrested 16 suspects after a female driver was attacked by a group of motorcycle taxi riders, in an incident that stirred widespread outrage.
A video circulating on social media showed the young woman, partially undressed, screaming at the group from inside the car, whose door had been forced open.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING VISUALS MAY UPSET SENSITIVE VIEWERS
A young girl being harassed along Forest Road just because of an accident involving a Bodaboba. Why are female journalists quiet yet they defend politicians who have turned bodaboda industry into a political vote basket? Shame! pic.twitter.com/TNkO7wwVgd
— Cyprian, Is Nyakundi (@CisNyakundi) March 7, 2022
In a statement on Twitter, the police said the woman had been pursued on Friday by a “gang” of motorcycle taxi drivers, apparently after an accident.
“Sixteen suspects have been arrested and five motorcycles impounded,” they said.
“We wish to condemn in the strongest terms all forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence,” they said.
A policeman intervened to stop the assault, The Standard newspaper said.
Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i said on Twitter, “I am shocked and disgusted by a viral video clip of a female motorist being molested by suspected boda-boda riders along Wangari Maathai /Forest Road.
“We must protect our roads from such vile and reprehensible acts of aggression,” he said.
I am shocked and disgusted by a viral video clip of a female motorist being molested by suspected boda boda riders along Wangari Maathai /Forest Road.
We must protect our roads from such vile and reprehensible acts of aggression.
— Dr. Fred Matiang’i (@FredMatiangi) March 7, 2022
Motorcycle taxi drivers in Kenya, commonly known as boda-boda, are typically young men.
The riders are notorious for breaching the rules of the road and assaulting drivers after a collision.
Boda boda menace:
The cure is registration of riders that is attached to phone numbers and ID.
Cell phone tower records would show all the riders’ phone numbers concentrated at the same spot at the time of the incident.
If police want to arrest them, they can @IG_NPS
— Wheelpower 🚶🚲 🚌 🚄 (@shecyclesnbi) March 7, 2022
In 2019, the drivers were classified as a “threat to national security” by an interior ministry research unit, the local media say.