'Kanjo' askaris are not allowed into private vehicles, county clarifies after viral video

City Council askaris arrest a motorcyclist at Mfangano street, Nairobi. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

City traffic marshals, fondly referred to as Kanjo askaris, are not allowed to get into private vehicles, Nairobi County has now clarified.

Nairobi Acting County Secretary Patrick Analo says county officers are supposed to inform the driver of the offence and escort them to the county offices or to a police station, in the event of an incident.

The officer was responding after a video went viral on Wednesday showing a Nairobi County traffic marshal arguing with a woman inside her car.

The lady accused the officer of illegally getting into her vehicle. Thus, she decided to lock the car and sped off along Valley Road, and onto the Nairobi Express Way.

“The law requires that when one makes offence, they are supposed to stop and be informed of the offence they have committed and escorted to the nearby police station or county offices,” Analo explained.

“According to the County Management Act, the requirements of controlling private and public transport are clearly outlined, that is why we have traffic marshals,” he added.

At the same time, Analo said disciplinary action will be taken against the officer for overstepping his mandate.

“The officer went overboard, which is not supposed to happen. The ideal way is to get consent from the motorist,” he explained.

And if the driver speeds off upon being caught on the wrong, he said the officers should raise the alarm with their colleagues through radio calls so that the vehicle can be intercepted.

“Similarly, it is wrong for a motorist to lock the officer inside a car and drive off just like in the video. It could end up being an abduction case,” Analo stated.

“The lady ought to have driven to the nearby police station or county offices for the matter to be solved instead of speeding off and saying she will spend the whole weekend with the officer,” the County Secretary said.