Kenya police can sometimes be a pain in the butt, especially when they bust you on the wrong side of the law. There is always a bad and a good cop, with the bad one threatening to have you locked over the weekend, while the good one pacifies the situation with “Una ngapi, brother?” Whether in a heated or friendly talk with a Kenyan cop, there are boundaries you don’t cross as afande can go to extraordinary lengths to prove he didn’t attend Kiganjo Police Training College to wrestle ugali alone. Here are 10 things you don’t tell a Kenyan karao:
1. I have the IG’s number
Try threatening a cop that you have the cellphone number of the Inspector General of Police. As you wait to drive off, the cop would dare you: “Haiya, si you call him now!” before dragging you by the belt, your toes scratching tarmac, to a waiting police Land Cruiser.
2. I will call my lawyer
Apart from the thunder of an AK47, an interrogation by a legal wizard in courtroom is something cops dread. But sometimes when you smell like a brewery after being stopped for exceeding the speed limit and you threaten to call your lawyer at 4am, afande will play ball. Kwanza if you have facial dents...meaning you know more crooks than legal minds, you will end up napping on a smelly floor at Central Police Station.
3. Unajua babangu ni nani?
Being found in possession of bhang yet you are threatening cops that your daddy can have them sacked or transferred to Elwak, Mandera County, is the day you will learn that your dad’s post as head of Awasi Borehole Fund cannot free you. “Ati ni gijana (sic) ya nani wewe? Sisi iliweka ndani Ferdinand Waititu, Johnstone Muthama, Moses Kuria na Junet Mohammed...weka makwapa huko ndani!” the cop will shout back the order.
4. Onyesha ID ya kazi
If you don’t understand what poking bees means, then try asking a cop for his job ID with “onyesha ID ya kazi”. If the cops are plain-clothed ones, you will shortly learn why Sir God did not create gnarled balls for hard squeezing.
5. Usinishike hivyo!
Kurutu cops and those with small-bodies love grasping offenders tightly from the back to prove a point. Try telling them, “Usinishike hivyo, mimi nina kura!” and they will lift you juu kwa juu only to go easy when you whisper “Watu wananicheka ukisinishika hapo, mkubwa!”
6. I know my rights!
Constitutional review gave us the chance to understand our rights. But try humouring a cop with the “I know my rights” line yet you were driving without number plates with a torn Kenyan flag strapped on the side mirror.
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8. Do you know who the hell I am?
You are a lowly-paid receptionist at the local CDF offices and here you are asking, “Unajua mimi ni nani?” when arrested for drinking after hours. Some afandes don’t give a squirrel’s fart whether you are the Queen of England and they have been known to detain high-flying politicians. Re-read number three above.
9. Curfew imeanza?
You will know Kenya is not a free country when you are arrested past the curfew hours. Raia, makaroa and police night patrols have never been good bedfellows, more so when you start accusing them of harassment yet “my taxes pay you!”