I’m not entirely sure whether this is hilarious, sad, or just ironic: last week a few cops got caught taking bribes from matatus by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC). It was apparently a sting operation, complete with fake notes, undercover operatives, cameras, etc. For better or worse, the ordeal was caught on tape:
The news report said they were busted at a road block along “Nairobi–Nakuru” highway. We have two such road blocks near Uthiru (where I work), one of which is the one in the video, and the other being kwa roundabout, hapo madukani (at the roundabout, over by the shops). I’ve seen those road blocks nearly every day for the past one year I’ve been working at ILRI. Everyone has.
Every matatu must stop and leave kitu kidogo (something small) for the officers. You’d be shocked at the authority with which those cops conduct themselves at these road blocks. You would honestly think they were there legitimately. The fact that I haven’t seen ONE police officer at that roundabout since this bust happened is indicative of something seriously wrong with those police checks. If they’re legit, where are they now?
In a way it’s sad… but then again, it’s hard to get sympathy from the common Kenyan when you’re a cop who is caught stuffing 50-, 100-, and 200-shilling notes away by the grocery bag full! Also, let me remind you: corruption in Kenya is rife. It’s so bad it’s not even funny. That, and Kenyan cops are not nice people. Sammy and I watched in awe the other night as a traffic cop yelled at and belittled an older British man who was trying to turn into a driveway near the Westlands roundabout.
Tumechoka (we’re tired)!