Mavoko, Riots, Mombasa Road.

Travelling to Mombasa – Mavoko Riot Edition

Let’s make this weird…
My day started at Waiyaki way, where the clock ticked midnight as I was leaving Kinoo. I had gone to borrow, rather get a camera from my friend who had lent me. I got home later cannot tell when, whereby I reviewed a few emails, wrote a checklist for a few hours later trip to Mombasa and slept.
I woke up at 3 am where I spent a few hours on the internet. The usual culprits Twitter, Emails and Facebook. I made my final arrangements packing and all. I had 3 bags to pack. I had one, a friend in Somalia’s (I have been shopping for a few people down there since the ops started) and my other bag for business*. I did dishes in the morning. That was weird. I followed my checklist to the later and left for work. On my way to work, I greeted a colleague of mine and she ignored. Note the “She”. Totally taken, I took a different route but I loved the look on her face when she found me in the matatu she was taking to work. I got to work, packed my other bag, mostly transferring some of the stuff in my bag and a paper bag I had into the large bag.
After all the formalities of a convoy travel arrangement, we boarded our vehicles and left for Mombasa at around 1015hrs. All was well until Mavoko happened. Motor cycle operators had decided to strike against the Machakos County levies that they claimed were too high. In my mind I was wondering if they expected the dream Machakos County to be built from someone’s charity fund. So they burnt tires, lit bonfires on various positions on the road and blocked it with boulders. We were not to be deterred. Our journey had to continue. My first instinct was to take photos, but I decided I would do both. So photos as well as clearing the road for our convoy and a few other citizens was what I occupied myself with as well as my friends for the next two hours or less I think. It was chaos!!! But the fellows were cowards I would say because they let us pass and at some point realized they could not “beat” us and decided to escort us through instead. They were threatening to burn our vehicles if we dared move. At various sections of the stretch the vehicles could get stopped and choked with stones on all wheels on all sides and they threatened stoning and burning the vehicle. We dared them to throw, but nobody could. I posted a few photos to Twitter and even got an international journalist requesting for a video since one of the people/ institutions I mentioned retweeted it which happened to be the earliest photo from the core of the chaos. Unfortunately, I was on the move and could not manage.
We were way behind schedule but since the road was not as busy as it usually gets, we managed to move faster than we would have. Nothing much has changed along the Mombasa Highway since my last visit… Even the Billboard at Taru of a man carrying an elephant still exists to date. I however noted that the shops in Email have adapted their names from their owners… Full names, ie Faith Mbinya, Kwa Calo tena Etc. Nothing eventful beyond the Mavoko Drama, except for a waiter at a certain hotel at Mtito Andei who really liked my friend or it was me, we don’t know. She gave us her number. We got back to the journey and the rest of it is just another boring journey story. At some point we stopped over again for relief and we got to Mombasa around 7p.
Among the most fascinating things about the journey was an Escalade I spotted at Mavoko, The real estate developments in Machakos County, Moi International Airport’s landing lights – Mombasa by night (This never gets me bored), the toad effect (My own name for how the skin feels in the hot & humid conditions of the coast) and the number of car showrooms around the Mombasa CBD area. Here is another very exciting thing. There is an aircraft carrier docked at Likoni!!! My oh my! This drove me to the limits of crazy!!!It’s Italian I think, I cannot even start to mention where it got me on the excitement scale. I got to our destination – Mtongwe, safely and the rest of it is just winding up a day, having a fairly priced meal and unwinding on my bed.(Chapati & grams would cost you 100/- in town, 80/- on Juja Road & 70/- around Embakasi. I spent 45/- on the same quantity)
A lot of curiosity breeds inside, and now that I have a longer time than usual, I will seek to finding out some. I hear some coastal women do not let you leave their houses once you get there for a romp, I hear there is some juju of sorts and sitting on chapos – which I am not sure if it is practically the case, or just a metaphor. Some to an extent of washing your clothes when you do not need them washed yet they know too well you should be going to work… I also hear of the country’s most stubborn monkey breed here. I also hear, the first sailing experience is hell!!! That is what I look forward to most!!!
Here are the pictures from earlier.
The river… Wasn’t interested with the traffic at all


Then I realised it wasn’t an ordinary snarl up…


In between the vehicles…


All those, Mombasa Road, Outbound


The riotous crowd shouting, and threatening to burn our bus…


We decided to step out and unblock the way ourselves, thoroughly dealing with those who thought they could stop us…



Kalembe Ndile happened to pass by & this is how he got through. Its Gov. Mutua they wanted…



Another bonfire,


My colleagues and I leading our vehicles and those of a few daring motorists from the mayhem…


at Emali where all the shops are named after their owners…
The view from my position…


Among my few appearances on the blog… Having lunch en-route


One of the stop overs, just before Mariakani


A blurred/ dirty picture of sunset while moving at 80kph.
 Mombasa the stay continues…


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