The Police vs. The People Part 2: “Inspection”


Like I said in Part 1, my cab guy works small miracles for a small fee. I’m never mad to pay him; he earns every single penny. It also helps that he’s hopelessly honest and pretty damn focused. 20 something with several cars in several cities; you can’t hate on that if you tried.

So that Friday morning, he was getting his insurance papers sorted out; all those PSV stickers that make no sense to the layman. He then took his car for servicing and spared no expense ensuring his vehicle was up to standard.
The good thing about sober, focused taxi drivers is that they know exactly how to avoid trouble; it’s not by driving faster or using the backroad. It’s not by bribery or lying. It’s by doing your job and shutting up.

By 10am, he was done with ensuring his vehicle was legal and up to par and running checks on his other cars and drivers. He drove out of Adams and before he got to the roundabout, a lady flagged him down.
“Tao.”
She didn’t say anything beyond that. So he began driving towards town. When he got to the Kenyatta avenue round-a she said “Globe Cinema”. She wasn’t chatty and had no intention of playing nice. He didn’t mind. Halfway up K-Ave, his phone rang to life. It was me. I explained my conundrum and he calmed me down and told me he’d send someone.

He calls his friend and sends him my way. Right at that time, he sees a waving black baton being flailed by a chubby officer of the law. Continue reading

The Police vs. The People Part 1: “Operation”


It was 10am on a Friday in a busy dusty Nairobi. The sun was shining just bright enough to provide camouflage for the bone rattling chill. And it did so expertly; the treacherous glow had however convinced the masses to underdress.
But not I, Popeye. I anticipated this deceit and layered up.

I can’t stop glancing at my watch doing mental mathematics: I was meant to have an appointment at 11am at a hotel in Gigiri and had just gotten out of one in the CBD. Unlike the wealthier lot of you, my chauffeur was not waiting for me at the door when I came out, but instead at the bus stop where I was headed. ‘If I hop on a 106 or a 107 I’d make it to that area in 20 minutes or less and be half an hour early.’ So I stroll leisurely towards the stage.

10:20am: I’m waiting for a Matatu so we can leave.

Then I realize “Hey, I’ve never had to wait for one of these.” Continue reading

The SoapBox: “Police, Turf Wars and Riots”

This week’s edition of The SoapBox is brought to you by Kevlar Vests. Because many times being innocent doesn’t mean police will leave you alone. Protect yourself.

Onto today’s topics.

For those who missed it, Administrative Police in Kawangware shot, slayed, executed 7 taxi drivers last Wednesday. The story behind it is that there was a dispute between boda boda and the Taxi Drivers. This resulted in the feud being reported to Police who showed up guns ablazing on “suspected gangsters”, the Taxi Drivers, and the next few days were mayhem in Kawangware.

Police

Less than a month ago, I pointed out how carelessly reckless law enforcement were with their firearms. Given a reason to shoot one thing and they’ll find a reason to shoot 2; Officers have become very philanthropic with their ammunition, giving back to the public whenever they can. Continue reading