Remains of the Dar Lux bus that was involved in a road crash at Ngatatoek along Namanga Road. [File, Standard]
A luxury bus company operating between Kenya and Tanzania has been accused of lacking the requisite documentation for cross-border transporters within the Comesa region.
Earlier this month, the National Insurance Corporation of Tanzania said a Dar Lux Bus Company vehicle that was involved in an accident in Namanga on September 1 last year had “a fake card”.
Two people were killed in the accident, while one, Alex Karani, 42, sustained injuries.
Those who died were identified as Tateu ole Kanai and Naomi Adhiambo. The accident happened after the Nairobi-bound bus hit the victims’ car.
“I was coming from work around 7pm when we found a lorry near Ngatatoek River. Suddenly, we saw a bus overtaking the lorry. I woke up in hospital,” Mr Karani said.
A report by the Kenya Police dated December 12 reads: “The victim was involved in a road accident involving a motor vehicle registration T913 DNU make Higer Bus and Toyota Probox registration KBU 476H.”
Karani hopes the authorities will ensure he is compensated.It emerged that the bus did not have the mandatory Comesa Yellow Card insurance, a third-party cover for passenger service cross-border vehicles.
Besides offering third-party protection to passengers or the driver while in a foreign country, the Comesa Yellow Card also offers an emergency medical cover of the foreign motor vehicle in case of an accident.
On February 6, the National Insurance Corporation of Tanzania stated: “The attached Comesa Yellow Card of Dar Lux of T913 DNU with the period from 26.06.2019 to 25.06.2020 is a fake card because the Comesa Yellow Card Serial number TZ02133313 was issued by Alliance Insurance to their client Dodoma Transport Agency Ltd on vehicle number T922AVX under policy 9002/90/32755, with the period from 01.08.2018 to 31.07.2019. Hence we confirm the card not valid and not genuine. It’s a fake.”
The owner of the bus company could not explain why the Yellow Card had not been surrendered to the Kenya Police four months after the crash. It also emerged that the firm did not inform the concerned insurance companies of the accident.
A source at Kenya Re, who asked not to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said some Tanzanian buses have fake Comesa insurance, while several others find fraudulent ways to evade the cost of insuring passengers.
“Why are the authorities allowing such buses on our roads with all the danger they expose us to?” asked the source.
It took a letter from the Kenya Police to get a copy of the insurance made available. Dar Lux is also said to have presented a different person as the driver of the bus at the time of the accident. It further emerged that the firm gave money to the bereaved families.
Donald Simagunga, the owner, said Karani got Sh50,000 to help with his hospital bills.
Police Spokesperson Charles Owino said there is need for further investigations.