A Kiambu law court burst into laughter after a young man was arraigned before Senior Principal Magistrate Ms.Stella Atambo for failing to pay his fare of 30 shillings after he boarded a public service vehicle.
Joseph Mwangi a Kiambu resident was charged that he failed to pay his fare of 30 shillings which was to cover a distance from Ndumberi to Kiambu town.
Upon reading the charge sheet by the court clerk, the whole court busted into laughter owing to the contents of the offence.
The magistrate wondered why such cases was brought to the court. Mwangi who appeared calm was not destructed 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 20 shillings as my fare from Ndumberi to Kiambu town daily since I work within Kiambu’s CBD. I only had 20 shillings on me and when the conductor asked for money I gave that but he told me that I needed to add 10 shillings. 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 its 30 shillings which I told him I have only 20 shillings and that’s when he got angry and threw the 20 shillings I had given him and he told the driver to stop the matatu where there were traffic police officers and he reported me to them and I was arrested. My only fault was not having the 10 shillings and I did not refuse to pay” he noted.
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 misdemeanors that could be solved on the spot.
“Mr Mwangi go home with your 20 shillings but next time before boarding a matatu please make sure you know the amount of fare you’re to pay.” Senior principal magistrate told him.
By Lydia Shiloya and Mary Mueni