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A knockout punch and five teeth later, a brutal ‘kanjo’ trio remains in service, risking others’ safety

By Peter Kimani | August 6th 2021

Maina’s broken jaw cost Sh56,000 to fix. [Courtesy]

A knockout punch and 5 teeth later, a brutal ‘kanjo’ trio still in service, risking others’ safety

Last month, a city hawker was busy minding his business, as he always did, selling socks to passers-by, when he was accosted by three city askaris, popularly known as ‘kanjo.’

They demanded a Sh100 bribe, but Anthony Maina said all he could spare was a paltry Sh20.

This infuriated the askaris and they descended on him with kicks and punches. When all was calm, Maina had lost five teeth.

We don’t know who among the three, namely, Humprey Muswangi, Hassan Chege and Dennis Macharia delivered the killer punch to the mouth, though they have all admitted liability for assault and agreed to settle the matter out of court. They will collectively pay Maina about Sh450,000 in compensation.

The pay distribution is as follows: Sh60,000 is for each tooth; Maina’s broken jaw cost Sh56,000 to fix, while the rest of the monies covered his transportation, clinic visits and rent for the duration he was out of work.

These details were availed in court by Maina’s lawyer, though the agreement was quiet on the lifelong trauma and stigma that he is bound to suffer as kibogoyo. Any time he opens his mouth to speak, Maina will be expected to relive the trauma by explaining how he lost his teeth.

His altered dental structure also means his dietary needs will change permanently, as he will have to replace local staples like githeri with softer foods like rice and ngwaci.

The more pressing question: are those brutes going to remain in service and jeopardise the safety of other citizens who are likely to come their way?

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