The following events are based on a true story, believe it or not. I’m still trying to believe it myself!
I happen not to have a very high opinion of Kenyan cops. That’s due to the fact that I’ve had to part with hefty bribes several times in the past for this or that. Kwanza that time for Breathalyser, wah! I hated cops kabisa. They always found a way to extort money from me for whatever reason. If they didn’t catch me for drunk driving (which I never do) then it was for a dead bulb in the brake lights cluster, or a tyre whose tread was slightly worn.
There’s once they cleaned me out completely, on my way TO the hanye! (Those cops for Ngong Road and Kilimani are ruthless!!) Now with a 2 sok in your pocket, which hanye are you going to? Piga U-turn and go back to Club Duvet featuring DJ Pillow. Now, that’s one club that’s guaranteed to kick any day!
I was driving to The Mall on Saturday night at about 9:30pm to drop a pal of mine who was meeting someone for dinner. There were four of us in the car. We got to The Mall, drove round the bend to Kenchic, made a three point turn and drove back to the entrance to the Mall. There was no available parking on either side of the narrow lane, and anyway it’s not like we were planning to stay. So I stopped the car on the side of the road, put on the hazards, my boy opened the back right door and got out.
Suddenly a double cab 4X4 pick up, those red, yellow and blue ones for K.K. Security pulls up behind me hooting and flashing headlights, then two cops jump out brandishing AK47s and rush towards my car.
“Gichana unapark gari kwa barabara? MAGHENDE!!”
The cop then gets into the back right seat and slams the door, and tells me to drive to Parklands Police Station. He’s a short fucker, about 5″ 5, with a big round head, looks like he shares some genetic qualities with a saskwatch. Kwanza his boots were filthy, plus his breath gave away hints of a dinner of onions and hot tea.
The second cop walks a few metres in front of the car. It’s evident that the cop want us to toa kitu kidogo, that’s why he’s got into the car so conveniently so as not to be spotted receiving a bribe. I told the cop that I hadn’t parked the car, I was just dropping my pal.
The idiot starts talking shit, telling me that “umefanya hatua” and if I’m not going to “ongea vizuri” then I might as well go to Parklands and have a word with the OCS.
So now me and my two pals are trying to vibe logic to the buffoon. We asked him to show us any single available parking space on either side of the street. We asked him to define what parking a vehicle is. We asked him which motorist we had inconvenienced during those few seconds that we were dropping my pal. Hell we even asked him if he’s a traffic policeman, and if he is, could he show us which part of the Traffic Act (if he even knows which Cap the Traffic Act is) says that dropping someone outside a building is a Traffic offence.
The cop is at the back still insisting that I talk nicely or I drive to Parklands. The fool figured he had stumbled upon some spoilt rich kids to harass. Sio leo boss. Dude was wasting my time and I had a bash to get back to in Nyari before the hawks grabbed all the fwyne women. And I was getting very agitated.
“Kwanza wewe afande ndio una hatua. Unaturukia kama sisi ni majambazi ati kututisha na bunduki, ukaanza matusi, unaitisha kitu kidogo, alafu umeingia kwa gari yangu na hizo viatu chafu. Nani alisema huwezi kuniambia sheria kutoka nje? Ofisaa, please get out of my car.”
“Unafikiri ati I am not gwalified kuingia kwa gari yago? Gwani imebadilika imeguwa ni Leghisas?” (Lexus)
*ok that one for Leghisas I’ve made it up! Hehehe!*
While the dude was still talking shit, the three of us got out of the car, left it right where it was and went to vibe with the other cop. You wonder why there’s always a good cop and a bad cop. This “good one” realized quickly that he wasn’t dealing with idiots. He told us to hurry up with the bribe and bounce. We told him we’re not paying anything coz they’re not even traffic cops in the first place, plus they can’t even define what traffic offence we had apparently committed.
After some minutes he told us to forget the story and just drive away. So we went back to the car, where Saskwatch was still ensconced in my back seat. My boy took the keys and we all got into the car and requested the cop to get out.
“Gichana nagwambia hiyo siasa yako twende nayo Bhaklands uambie OCS!!”
“Siendi Parklands! Mi naenda nyumbani. Kwa hivyo we jipange ujue unaenda wapi.”
“Blah blah….mumefanya hatua….blah blah…. *onion breath – quick, roll down the window!* …..blah blah….kumbafu!”
Haiiiiyaaa! The cop had refused to get out of the car and was still insisting on the “bribe or Parklands” story. Na ameanza matusi on top of that. My pal had had it with his nonsense and he drove off. When we got to the junction for the main road, dude asked the cop a final time
“Afande unatoka ama hautoki?”
“Nitoke gwa nini! Si nimesema twende Bhaklands!”
“Parklands my ass!”
Dude turned the car right towards the Sarit Centre roundabout but instead of turning right to go to Parklands, he turned left and drove on past Sarit, took a right onto Peponi road and kept going.
“Gwani gichana unaenda wabi?”
“Si tulikuambia sisi tunaenda nyumbani. Kama unataka kuja na sisi hiyo ni shida yako!”
Here I am in the co-driver’s seat wondering WTF my pal was doing, but by then the speedometer had already pitad 120 km/h and Spring Valley passed like a blur. The cop has shangaad at what’s going on.
“Weeh! Simamisha gari!”
“Si tulikuambia utoke ukakataa?”
The car turned right at Thigiri Ridge, up the hill and kept going. That’s about the time that the cop realized that we weren’t going to sing to his tune so he requested us to take him back to Westlands and that story dies there. Dude must be joking! Ati we turn and go back to Westi? Are you nuts? My pal stopped the car at some dark ass joint huko Thigiri Ridge and asked the cop, very politely, to get out of the car.
“Sasa mnataka nirudi Westlands aje?”
“Si munisambazie 50 bob nipigie gari ya batrol iguche kinichukua?”
“Ata ka kitu kidogo hamtaniachia?”
The cop slowly got out, then before he shut the door he was like
“Lakini msijali. Si tuko pamoja?”
Tuko pamoja up in my ass! Stupid man! And with a skid start, we drove off. How he got back to Westi, I have no idea and I really don’t care. But we drove the rest of the way laughing hard coz I’d never imagined showing such madharau to a cop before. But he deserved it, sivyo? My boy had mad beef with the cops coz he had to part with 5k recently when he was busted “on top of things” by cops on patrol. So I understand his bile.
Piece of advice:
1. Kenyan cops will find every and any reason to solicit for a bribe from you. Always make sure that the basics are in check i.e. lights, tyres, seatbelts, insurance and road licence. That reduces the list of things that can get you acquainted with Saskwatch or Homer Simpson.
2. Most cops are rather dense and don’t know the Traffic Act. But they know that YOU don’t know it either. If possible, get yourself a copy. It would be a good idea to read through it, underline a few things here and there to show that you’ve read the thing (highlighting in bright orange would be best), then leave it in the glove compartment and when confronted by a cop for whatever reason, proceed to hand over the Traffic act and ask him to show you where that “hatua ambayo umefanya” is. Or just have a lawyer pal on speed dial. (Ichiena niaje?)
(The Traffic Act is Cap 403. I’m on my way to get a copy as soon as I’m done with this post)
Question: Is it just me or do all Kenyan cops have either one of two distinct accents regardless of which part of the country they come from? What is the language of instruction at Kiganjo?
What’s on my Playlist?
Due to the slow internet speeds, I’ve not been able to download some nine or so audio tracks for a music post that I’ve been working on. So I’ve decided to try and have one track at the end of each post. Today’s track is “Mr. Policeman” by K-South which so aptly applies in this situation. Imagine a late night encounter with a couple of cops soliciting for a bribe. This has got to be, by far, one of the most hilarious Kenyan track ever produced.
Click HERE to download Mr Policeman.