Knee-jerk reactions will not solve Nairobi’s mess
SEE ALSO :MCAs: No more drama, we have moved onAbout two years ago, it was reported that traffic police officers tied the hands of a lorry driver to the steering wheel while the vehicle was in motion and ended up having it overturn during the ensuing struggle. A week ago, overzealous police officers handcuffed a motorcyclist to his motorcycle at Safari Hotel along the Kapenguria-Lodwar Road. By chance, West Pokot Governor John Nyangapuo happened to be passing by and witnessed the drama. Incensed, he demanded and secured the release of the motorcyclist. In retaliation, the top brass of the police service withdrew Lonyangapuo’s security detail. The mindset When opposition leaders upstaged the government early this year, their security detail was withdrawn. Such knee jerk reactions define the police service. Not long ago, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet vehemently denied a report that indicted police officers as major perpetrators of rape during skirmishes that followed last year’s disputed general elections. But despite such spirited denials and reactions, the police service has very little to write home about. Igembe South MP ran afoul of the system recently when he mobilised boda-boda operators to resist police excesses. An incensed Tuk-Tuk driver vented his anger on two traffic police officers who, it was reported, had broken the side mirror of his vehicle. Later, a video showing a lorry driver roughing up a traffic police officer was posted on social media.
SEE ALSO :Sonko denies bribing workersThese growing incidents are harbingers of bad tidings between the public and the police service. It would seem the latter are getting what they have been asking for. Unless something drastic is done to change the mindset of police officers and how they relate to the public, we could experience more daring attacks on disreputable law enforcers. Private cars Whereas traffic police officers could be instrumental in breaking traffic gridlocks within Nairobi city, they are a contributory factor. I have witnessed police officers create a traffic jam by letting some matatus pick fares at Railways roundabout on Haile Selassie Avenue at a fee from matatu crew willing to pay by prior arrangement. Indeed, Matatus are not the problem; it is the law enforcers and a government bereft of strategists. To fill that void, Governor Sonko executed his own knee-jerk reaction to decongest the city and ended up creating a spectacle he hastily backtracked from. There is a lack of political goodwill from influencers who reap big from the traffic melee within town because they are stakeholders in the transport industry. What explains the dismal failure of not just the National Youth Service buses to ply city routes, but the government’s inability to roll out the Bus Rapid Transport system that seems to work well in Tanzania and Rwanda? Is Kenya the bigger regional economy only in name, but a midget where action calls? [email protected]
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