Antony Njoroge, 40, was at his usual taxi stage in Murang’a in December 2018 when a smartly-dressed lady requested him to drop her to Kiharu estate, a kilometre from the town centre.
“She looked and sounded like a pleasant personality and we soon developed some chemistry that would two years later, leave me without a car and nursing health complications,” Njoroge recalls.
After driving her to Kiharu Estate, she requested for his cell phone number and promised to offer him another job.
Njoroge was to take her to pick her daughter from her sister’s place in Kitengela.
“She said she was a nurse based at Murang’a County Hospital and that she was new in Muranga and was still settling down. For the Kitengela trip, we agreed she was to pay me Sh6,000, which was good money,” Njoroge said.
The following day, at around 10am, Njoroge received a call from the “nurse”, directing him to pick her from her place of work.
“When we met, she was wearing a white coat (the ones that doctors wear) and had carried a small handbag. We started our journey to Kitengela and I remember she was chatting on her phone all through the journey and avoided eye contact,” Njoroge said.
The two briefly stopped at Kenol town after the client said she wanted to buy painkillers because she was nursing a hangover, having spent the night at a club in Murang’a.
“She returned with some tablets, a bottle of water and two cans of an alcoholic beverage (Guarana) and offered me one, which I declined since I was driving,” he recalls.
At around noon, her client requested that they make a stopover at a nyama choma joint along Ruiru Bypass to have lunch.
“After lunch, she bought two bottles of water and handed me one of the bottles. She was really kind and I was touched by her gesture. We proceeded with our journey to Kitengela,” he recalls.
However, a few minutes later, he started feeling dizzy and nauseated.
He opened his driver to get some breeze, but he knew something was wrong. He pulled the car over and suddenly, another vehicle came and blocked him from behind.
“Things happened so fast. I was feeling so sick. The lady moved to the front and started slapping me. Then, I saw men from the other vehicle, approaching me. I think they were like three well-built men. They forced me to take some tablets and before I knew it, I had blacked out,” he said, adding, “ I could overhear them saying how they were going to kill me, but the lady pleaded with them, claiming I had behaved.”
Njoroge has no recollection of what transpired, and only remembers waking up from a hospital bed at Kenyatta National Hospital.
The nurses informed him that he had been in a coma for a month and was lucky to be alive.
“A police officer, who was following up my case informed me that I had been abandoned in a thicket at Mtito Andei. Some truck drivers saw me and alerted police who immediately took me to the mortuary, thinking I was dead. But, they discovered that I was alive,” Njoroge recounted.
Two years later, Njoroge says the incident left him traumatized and with a lot of pain.
“ I no longer trust easily. I have never recovered my car and I am still paying the loan. It hurts. Sometimes, I suffer nightmares from the incident. I still have to go for regular clinic visits due to the injuries that I suffered,” he told The Nairobian.
He advises fellow taxi drivers to always interrogate their clients, keep a record of their identity and keep tabs with a colleague.