By Protus Onyango
Kisumu, Kenya: Thugs who have been masquerading as mechanics in Kisumu and defrauding unsuspecting motorists have been kicked out of their areas of operation.
This came in the wake of an exposé by The Standard Wednesday on their clandestine operations.
Wednesday, many people called vernacular radio stations and narrated how they had fallen victim to the fake mechanics.
This rogue mechanics were flushed out Kisumu Central Business District by genuine mechanics after alerting the police about their intentions to flush out the rogue mechanics.
“These people have made it impossible for us to earn a genuine living. We have lost customers who have fallen victim to these people,” Samuel Odera, the secretary of the Mau garage said.
He revealed that there are about 20 fake mechanics who harass motorists around Kamasi area in the town.
“These guys even have a chairman who has an office and is paid the ill-gotten money. But today marks the end of their theft,” Odera said.
He added: “We have reported the matter to the Officer Commanding Station Central Police station and the area chief. They have assured us that they will arrest the suspects,” Mr Odera said.
He said most mechanics in the town were genuine and even repair school buses and vehicles from the Kenya Revenue Authority.
The Standard Wednesday ran a story on how motorists are conned by the rogue mechanics who operate along Otieno Oyoo road in the city’s CBD.
Investigations by The Standard have revealed that the rogue mechanics chose this stretch because it has more than three filling stations. Other than the petrol stations, the road is also dotted with jua kali sheds and a genuine garage, christened Kamas/Uganda garage, where bona fide mechanics ply their trade.
About 20m from the garage is Obote Road, which leads to the Kisumu International Airport. The “mechanics” line up on both sides of the road and once they spot a potential victim, they run towards the car and make the driver believe that the tyres of his car are wobbling and almost coming off.
And once the driver slows down, he or she is directed to Makasembo Road where they remove the tyre as soon as the car stops. It is here that a hide and seek game begins where motorists end being overcharged for a service that was never rendered or losing their car parts.