A Kiambu law court today burst into laughter after a young man was arraigned before Senior Principal Magistrate Ms. Stella Atambo for failing to pay his fare of Sh30 after he boarded a public service vehicle.
Joseph Mwangi a Kiambu resident was charged that he failed to pay his fare of Sh30 which was to cover a distance from Ndumberi to Kiambu town.
Upon reading of the charge sheet by the court clerk, the whole court burst into laughter owing to the nature of the offence.
The magistrate wondered why such a case was brought to the court. Mwangi who appeared calm was not distracted by the loud laughter as he followed his case keenly.
When asked why he failed to pay the required amount by the magistrate, he had a defensive reason.
“Your honor, I am used to paying an amount of Sh20 as my fare from Ndumberi to Kiambu town daily since I work within Kiambu’s CBD. I only had Sh20 on me and when the conductor asked for money, I gave that but he told me that I needed to add Sh10.
“I asked him the reason as to why he was asking for an extra amount when I had already given him the required fare and he said that it’s Sh30 upon which I told him I had only Sh20 and that’s when he got angry and threw the Sh20 I had given him and told the driver to stop the matatu where there were traffic police officers. He reported me to them and I was arrested. My only fault was not having the Sh10 and I did not refuse to pay,” he explained.
During his narration, there was prolonged laughter at the way he mitigated innocently.
Upon his mitigation, Mwangi was released but the magistrate who further cautioned prosecution that such cases should not be brought in court if they were misdemeanours that could be solved on the spot.
“Mr. Mwangi go home with your Sh20 but next time, before boarding a matatu, please make sure you know the amount of fare you’re to pay,” The Senior Principal Magistrate told him.
KNA by Mary Mueni