Corrupt traffic police officers on Gitanga Road

Posted: November 5, 2013 in Politics/Current issues

 

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The accident scene where a train rammed into a public service bus on October 30, 2013 at a crossing point at Mutindwa Market killing at least 12 passengers of the bus

Last month, the government admitted that corruption has been the biggest cause for the high death toll on Kenyan roads. The Cabinet Secretary in charge of transport Michael Kamau while appearing before a parliamentary committee said that Kenya records about 3,000 accidents annually, and is ranked among the highest in the world when it is calculated per capita. 

These deaths are not going to reduce anytime soon if what I experienced yesterday on Gitanga road is anything to go by.  At around a few minutes to 11 pm, I boarded this Double M bus from Yaya Centre headed to Kawangware.  A few metres to Braeburn school we encounter a road block with two traffic officers, a man and woman.  I am a frequent user of this route, and their faces of these officers are very common to me. Every day they are always along the road especially during mid morning and part of the afternoon stopping PSV vehicles, something which I consider a normal routine for them since it is their job.

The Double M bus stops, the conductor alights to talk to the two traffic officers, one of the officers the goes to the drivers to engage him in a conversation. He asks him about the cracked windscreen and the driver tells him ‘’hiyo tutangeneza tu’ meaning we will look in to that. The female cop then signals the driver to move on and the bus leaves.

The conductor then tells me ‘’Hapo ashakula mia’’ that Is to say 100 shillings already gone.  Curiously I ask her how that happened because I did not see anything wrong with your bus.   This is where the conductor opens up and tells me it is a routine. Everyday PSV vehicles operating along Gitanga Road have to part with 100 shillings. The monies end up in the pockets of these two or three traffic police officers always stationed somewhere along the road.

‘’Hakuna kitu tutafanya Unajua lazima tuwajenge ndio wasituseti kwa noma huko mbele’’ There is nothing we can do so we just have to give them something small to avoid facing the law. The conductor further tells me.

As alight from the bus, so many questions criss cross my mind. How much money do these officers make on a single day considering the number of PSV vehicles operating on that route? For how long will they continue doing that?

More than 2,000 people have been killed so far as a result of road carnage since the year started. This numbers continue to increase in what has mainly been blamed on corrupt traffic police officers.

Will Kenyans continue dying on our roads just because a traffic officer was bribed with 100 shilling?

Nixon Kanali, Nairobi Twitter @NicKanali 

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