Social Media vs the Kenya Police

On 15th January, I was driving home as usual with two colleagues that car pool with me.
When we reached the Parklands/Masari Junction from Taarifa Rf, I noticed the junction was gridlocked and waited despite the blaring horns behind me.

After a little while, the junction was clear enough and I was about to proceed when I heard the siren of an ambulance coming from behind.
I delayed my entrance onto the junction to allow the ambulance to pass through. Oncoming cars waited too.
As soon as the ambulance passed I started proceeding onto the junction. An overlapping taxi, in order to avoid being hit by oncoming tried to jump into my lane hitting my right side in that process

This occurred at 5.40pm while traffic was at its peak.
We both got out to assess the damage and I was quite irate at him. I went to the extent of asking him how stupid he was to overlap an endanger the life of others.
He did not apologise but pretended to want to settle. While I was taking his insurance details from the screen, he tried to drive off with me in front of his vehicle. I was being pushed onto the junction by his car and into oncoming traffic.
He purposely tried to run me over, injuring me slightly in the process.

I promptly reported the case at Parklands Police station at 6.00pm. I also posted a tweet and a facebook message with details of his vehicle reg, make and colour as well as a brief of the events. This included @overlapKE – a social platform for reporting traffic incidences and rogue drivers. I also posted a few pictures that witnesses had captured at the scene.

Via social media and helpful friends, the vehicle was soon sighted near Sarit Centre at 7.05pm and cornered by well-wisher.
A Traffic policeman on sight was also alerted by the well-wisher and the driver denied being in Parklands let alone involved with an accident. It was only when the pictures were shown that the policeman agreed that there is a case here and they proceeded to Parklands Police Station.

Upon my arrival and a witness the offender changed his story to hit and run only and denied trying to run me over.
Luckily some of the pictures taken by the witnesses included one of him trying to run me over.

He changed his story again saying that he had a dire emergency and was not thinking straight.

The Police requested us to have a talk first if we could reach an amicable solution between the offender and me. Up untill 10.00pm, I was adamant that I did not want to settle and wanted the driver booked for overlapping, absconding scene of accident and attempted grevious bodily harm.

The offender started pleading with the Police and me and even his wife turned up to plea for him. He was requesting to be forgiven on humanitarian grounds being a father of three, sole bread winner etc etc.

I stood my ground and refused to settle. I even told him and the police that the only reason this man was sorry was because he was caught.

The police asked if I wanted to reconsider one last time to which I refused. The offender was locked up in the cell at the station at 10.20pm.

Based on the above and your experience and understanding of the Kenya Police, I would appreciate your views:

1. Do you think I was in the right to be adamant to have him booked?

2. What do you think would have happened if the scenario was in reverse?

3. Do you believe the Police is getting it’s act together or this is a one-off incidence because we had adequate evidence to support the case?

4. If Social Media could apprehend a criminal in so short a time, isn’t it high time the Police force got a little ‘teched up’ and used technology to their advantage?

Thanks,

Samir

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47 thoughts on “Social Media vs the Kenya Police

    • Congratulations for this. Kenya needs more of you.
      You were right to stay put and have him booked, such drivers belong there, not on our roads.
      It’s great you had the evidence, otherwise most probably hands would have rubbed and the guy set off the hook due to lack of evidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Duuude! That’s Drama. Pole jo!
    I support having the Taxi driver booked. However, I highly doubt Kenya Police are motivated to get ‘tech’d up’.
    If it was the opposite and you happened to have disposable income & loose morals to part with a bribe, you wouldn’t have spent the night in the cell.
    If you didn’t have enough evidence, they’d have argued you were on the wrong since you are supposed to give priority to cars on your right…
    So I think this’ a one off event.

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  • 1. I think you were right in being adamant. This ovyo ovyo forgiving of people who mess us up is what made up have such greedy MPs still go back to mess us up.
    2. If the scenario was in reverse how? If it was you that hit him and ran away? He is a taxi guy, He probably would have chased you and beat you up on when he caught up with you on the next jam. I am guessing.
    3. The Kenya Police is shit.
    4. Technology helps and improves lives. The police would be greatly improved if they used such simple technology like traffic lights. Which would free them from standing in the middle of the road the whole day (waving their arms like madmen), to do other traffic related issues. But like I said. The Kenya Police is shit (see 3 above). They have been neglected by the govt and us (the people) and in turn they mess us up. Circle of life.

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  • Apologies for your experience. Sadly taxi drivers continue to be reckless and rude. I wish there was something the cab association would do. I once got hit by a dead drunk taxi guy who was doing taxi business with expired private insurance. He knew cops and he luckily got away.

    Now cops are tricky people. I got hit sometime back too by a neighbour around residential area. He had a busy day so he said we will go cops evening. I went to cops immediately so as to get abstract for insurance. Cops said it was hit and run and just like you I stood my ground and did not leave police station until he was booked in and was promised he will be taken to court in the morning. I slept in peace. In the morning as I leave for work I bump into the person who should be in a cell also leaving for work …. Cops played me

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  • This is a good pointer to what to expect if we know & understand the law. Citizens arrest is a constitutional right we ignore & is very helpful to us in the end. Technology will force the police to wake up from their slumber & work. Police should embrace social media since it will make their work easier & save time in the end.

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  • Pole about the ordeal, but you were right to get him booked. The problem with traffic laws in this country is not the law itself, but its enforcement.
    Impunity exists because we get away with things.
    Kudos.

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  • You did good by standing your grounds. Just ensure that you follow up and get compensated for your damage. I once had an accident that wasn’t my fault and the driver was locked up for one night. The following morning he had bribed his way out and i never got any compensation from him. The cops told me it was because I didn’t ‘ensure’ that the guy would be dealt with accordingly. I think in your case they behaved the way they did just because you had enough evidence, not because they really wanted justice to be served. For them to gain from technology, they have to want to better their service delivery, otherwise it will be like giving a power saw to a guy who only wants to use an axe.

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  • I’m glad you’re in one piece chief.

    Now, I fully support your actions. The chap was not the most honorable of peop…so I doubt he sets a good example for the kids he purportedly supports.

    As for the cops, it’s still largely dependent on the individual. I commend the officer who assisted in the citizen’s arrest. It could easily have gone the other way.

    On embracing social media, I think this can be done in much the same way Chief Kariuki tweets. Since most police have mobile phones, they can opt to subscribe to a particular handle’s updates. It’s an inexpensive way to get started in consuming social media info.

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  • Wow, thanks for sharing.

    What concerns me most is how the police kept requesting you “to have a talk and see if you could reach an amicable solution” between yourself and the offender.

    The “Police way” would probably be a way to go if the offender not been overlapping. The “Police way” would probably have been okay had the offender – caught overlapping and having hit your car – admitted it and stayed on the side of the road with you.

    But the “Police way” was ABSOLUTELY NOT the way to go when the offender 1. Didn’t offer an apology. 2. Pretended to settle. 3. Got into his car, put his key in the ignition, started the car, put the handbrake down, pressed on the accelerator and tried to drive off with you “in front of his vehicle while you were taking his insurance details from the screen”.

    It seized being the way to go when the offender “used his car to push you into the junction and into oncoming traffic”. And that he injured you in the process; no, the The “Police method” was certainly not the way to go!

    The offender realising that you weren’t going to budge starts pleading humanity; he’s earning this and this and has 3 kids. i think this guy has hit other cars while overlapping or pulling other stunts on the road before. I don’t think I’ll be wrong in stating that it isn’t his first incident. The more he gets way with it, the bolder he gets such that he has the guts to in broad daylight try and run you over. Too many people in your position have let him get away with it. Most likely had you too, his next offense would be fatal.

    Should it have been in the reverse, you’d probably not post this compelling missive as you’d still be racking your head on the many zeros you had to get our of your bank account to “settle” the case amicably.

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  • Samir you are my hero!!! Congratulations. I have been a firm believer in the rule of law and its stiff consequences. Freedom is not the absence of the law but rather the very existence of it. Let that be a lesson to all. And if the police would open up and educate the populace on taking pictures of accidents from various angles once they happen including overlapping drivers etc and post them on a site, trust me order will reign on our roads immediately. Cheers Samir and keep it up

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  • Im glad he was apprehended n police were out of line to ask u to consider and if u settled u would not b helpin in decreasing road accidents caused by careless drivers like him who claim lives from people who also have families to support.

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  • Sorry abou that experience. My question is if the taxi was marked with the yellow stripe or was he driving was an unlicensed taxi? You are also fortunate to have met an understanding police man who took his time to understand the matter

    The capacity of the crowd to see, disseminate and share information (via social media) is far greater than that of the police or traffic cameras which seems to be the next area that GoK wants to sink money in (vandals eagerly await that)

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  • Good on you for standing your ground against such a blatant attempt at evading the law. The driver deserves to locked away.
    if roles were reversed, you would booked in straightaway with ”options” for freedom handed to you…and the taxi driver and the police would try to milk you for more then you could afford.

    The police are corrupt no matter who leads them…this is a one-off definitely. They were probably looking to gain from an amicable agreement (I scratch your back, you scratch mine)

    They day they take thier mandate seriously is the day they will embrace social media. ..for now they are incompetent, money hungry and cowards.
    .
    I hope you get full compensation for the damages.

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  • I say Kudos! It’s about time people knew that there are consequences to being stupid and breaking laws. So what if he has family to feed? That’s what he should have thought of when he was trying to run you over. You do have a family too right? Even if not to feed, you do have a family that cares and needs you even if its just emotionally. There are way too many morons in the society today. Hope he hasn’t bribed his way out of the cells.

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  • That was a good call on your part.Hope he learnt his lesson.Rachet behaviour…ati sole breadwinner..why should his life be more important than yours. Give respect and it will be given back to you..He should know that

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  • The actions of the perpetrator simply reflect the culture of impunity which has become en-grained in every walk of Kenyan life. We will never be a better nation unless we accept our mistakes, show remorse, learn from them and start caring for our beloved nation and people rather than simply caring about how deep our pockets are!

    Let this be a start in the right direction, fellow Kenyans. It is not too late to save ourselves and our country.

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  • You did good, that man should be ashamed of himself for such impunity. He should serve as a lesson to him and others who behave horribly just because they think they cannot be held responsible.

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  • Pole mate!…. But Kudos to you! You did very the right thing to stand your ground! That bastard wanted to run you over! Last year a ‘red plate’ driver did the same to me, by overlapping and trying to run me off the road dangerously. I gave chase and caught up with him, dragged him out of the car and really smacked him around. That was my brand of justice, very rash but I was mad. Very mad. But you did the right thing. And thank god you had evidence, otherwise the cops would have turned it around to you! Well done!

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  • Pole Sam, that was very fucked up, and the cops even trying to compromise was even more appalling!! That guy deserves all that is coming to him, he could have easily injured you or worse……………but you still a snitch hommie!! 🙂

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  • Hi Samir,
    Interesting turn of events.
    I see a lot of responses that are in your favor-rightly so.
    Most of the responses are from people living in nrb so they are aware of the corruption you guys deal with every day.
    Let me be the first one to defend the taxi driver in this case-
    First of all he shouldnt have tried to run you off the street-having said that, I think once you caught him, looking at the big picture, how much damage did he create vs how much damge did you create?
    On a lighter note, I hope you dont work for your wifes father who is an attorney !!
    The movie is called “Changing Lanes” with Ben Affleck and Samuel L Jackson-If you havent seen it-take a look-it is very much like your experience 🙂
    There is a hindi movie version to that they copied…
    TX, USA

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  • You went through what was an experience I would not want to.Pole.Is there any way to ensure that the perp is not released before he faces the ‘full weight of the law’?I hope that the matter goes to court if necessary,as the wind of change has taken the courts to a different level.

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  • you stood your ground and it so happens that there are consequences to every action.the law is long overdue in kenya its time for it to work,i just hope that cops are ready to embrace the mood.

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  • Kudos for standing your ground. The man did not think of YOUR family when he tried to run you over, did he? We have become a nation who think we can escape the consequences of our actions just by offering insincere apologies and a sob story

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  • Incidentally this things are happening alot but the Cops have upped their game that i can tell you.We were victims sometime last year where a driver hit our car out of road rage and came out asked what we would do and then he drove off.With the evidence at hand recordings and photos and detailed ownership report from KRA the guy was busted within 2 weeks and i really appreciate the cops at Kilimani .Glad yours went well too.

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  • Kudos Samir for staying the course. However, it will be a stretch to expect all of us to remain focused til 10.30pm in similar stuations. In addition, despite photographic and video evidence, these would not be considered admissable in a court of law. The process itself would take forever, will be at incovenient working day time and you will most likely be forced to do a cost benefit analysis of time spent. The witnesses will not even have that patience. My suggestion? If a lawyer or civic association takes up this cause – to petition the powers that be for the establishment of a 24 hour, quick service, high tech traffic court, that will allow electronic evidence, sit within hours of the crime, accept payment by Visa, Mpesa and dispense justice “on the spot”. This would be a real service to motorists and the country

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  • Thinking of driver of 63CD2K who overlapped me on Processional way to go to same school than I. I parked my car at the school parking and went to see the driver and asked him if he was aware of new regulations.

    I was bashed; insulted… “Who do you think you are; you are nothing; you are little” and “I will overtake again and again, you are nothing, you are not even a Kenyan”

    Impunity and racism !!!

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  • Job well done! This demonstrates the power of social media.

    If roles were reversed – you would probably be coughing out lots of money. Your car would be nursing a smashed windscreen (from the rock launched as you tried to ‘escape’).

    Unfortunately we lack road courtesy and common sense on our roads – blame it on lack of integrity in the process of get a D/L or what ever you want. Laxity of enforcement of traffic laws ensures that culprits are not brought to book. Police are only interested increasing their own waistline – the lighter the skin colour (of the offender) the better!

    Maybe, Kenya Police should use social media to apprehend traffic offenders – it was effective in this particular case! Follow Kenya Police on @TKK

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  • To be fair to the Police. Had they booked the offender without sufficient evidence, the offender would be let go the next morning without charge and given his turn coat nature, would have even sued the policeman who took action against him.

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  • Samir! that was a very good move! if i could take photos of all the clowns who cause havoc on the road then get them arrested and booked, maybe…there would be 1% less accidents. and if we all did, there would be a whole lot of change in the air! Russia has managed to limit corrupt traffic police using small dashboard cameras. we can do something as well…

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’d like to add that even when the offended motorist accepts an amicable settlement with the offender, the police should still take down details of the offender. I recall once being hit by a drunk motorist and upon advise by the police, accepted to settle with the offender, but was shocked when I went took my car the next day for repairs at the offender’s garage, when the manager remarked that am the second vehicle in less than a week to check in for repairs under the offenders tab!

    Liked by 1 person

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    Like

  • A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    There’s no doubt that that you should publish more on this subject matter,
    it might not be a taboo matter but usually people don’t talk about these subjects.
    To the next! All the best!!

    Like

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