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Conversations with a policeman and the making of fake cops

PETER KIMANI
By - | January 11th 2013

Now that all debates revolve around that fake cop of the Rift Valley called Waiganjo or some other name, I have been curious about what other cops’ – presumably the real ones – have to say about the matter. I was lucky to encounter one cop this week.

In keeping with scribes’ current trends on security reporting, the name of my source cannot be revealed as he is not authorised to comment on police matters, issues, which means quite a great deal of the quotes could have been dreamt up.

Our meeting was completely by chance – on the intersection of Valley Road and Ralph Bunche Road, same spot where I met another cop last year, and was flagged down for allegedly making a wrong turn.

I was flagged down this week again, and in all honesty, I can’t tell what the right turn to make since I have been stopped coming from either direction.


IN MY ABSENCE
That means the new Traffic Act may have outlawed manoeuvres that were previously considered legit, or perhaps road constructions and reconstructions during my absence have completely distorted my bearings.

That was the excuse that I gave the boy in blue last year, and even put on a twang to suggest my periodic hibernations in the Northern hemisphere have resulted in serious disorientation of our road network.

This week, my encounter with a boy in blue was slightly different; I decided to flash my Press card since it’s been a long time since I showed it to anyone.

I told the cop, who wore his force number like an armour of honour that I was looking for a story. Here’s the reproduction of the 15-minute monologue, full verbatim, after which I was freed without a charge:

THE CONVERSATION
“Ninyi watu ya Press! Why do you think that Waiganjo story is so important? I tell you if you want to write serious stories, come and talk to us. There are ten Waiganjos in this town!”

“There are many untouchables in this town. Kwanza this place called Parklands. You stop a motorist because they have committed an offence, and the next moment, they are on the phone talking to your boss. I cannot arrest even those who park on the road.”

“Haki ya Mungu, I’m telling you if you want a story, talk to us, polisi wa kawaida (ordinary cops).”
“You see this place called Kilimani; why do you think all these foreigners come to live in Kilimani? Or even Parklands? It’s because they can buy protection, and get permission to display their impunity and get away with it.”

“And do you know what’s going to happen? Our security will be compromised because these people buy our bosses cars and offer shopping every weekend,” polisi wa kawaida offers.
“I’m telling you, watch those two places. I can’t even make an arrest in Parklands. Phones ring right, left and centre in just five minutes.”
“And what do you do? You are just polisi wa kawaida and cannot challenge your boss.”
“So, ninyi watu ya Press, if you want serious stories come talk to us. I’m serious. I have always wished to meet watu ya Press,” he enthused.
“And now that I have met you, I know who I can reach and give you a story. Give me your number. Let me flash so you get me. Sawa my friend...”
All this while, a motorist who had been flagged down at the same time as I was waiting in his car, the delay no doubt, serving to convey the severity of his offence.

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