County askaris are feared more than the police officers in Nairobi

askariaskaris to wear uniform and badges when on duty. This law is aimed at stopping corrupt officials from extorting money from traders and members of the public.

An MCA from Nairobi said cases of arbitrary arrests, harassment and extortion by city  inspectorate and revenue collection employees had increased leading to loss of revenue to the county .The askaris do not face the full force of the law due to identification crisis. This has come as a surprise because I was at one of the offices of a bus company at around 2.00 am waiting for a connecting bus when I noticed all the workers who at the main entrance tense. Checking outside, I saw a group of about seven men in heavy coats asking one of the employee’s questions.

After about two minutes they decided to leave him. After they had gone one person asked who they were and we were informed that they were county askaris. My God! At 2.00 a.m. in the morning what were they doing in the streets of Nairobi? We were informed that these people were more feared than the police. Do county askaris move at night? What are they looking for? Does Nairobi County have a department of night patrol? This encounter left me with more questions than answers. This law if passed by all counties will curb impersonation of police officers.