23 Jan Stop with the Road Bribes!!
No U-Turn, No Entry, No Parking, straight on, Children Crossing, Speed Limit etc… how many of us follow these and many more road signs? How many of us know what they all look like? Do the road authorities make our road life any easier? And most important, what would you do when all the 3 questions above collide?
By collusion I mean, you might be the true Matiangi student who passed driving schools truthfully so yes you know them road signs and can even name them blindfolded and where they should be on our roads, yes you follow and observe them like a nun observes her lifetime commitment to the church but on one unlucky day the authorities confirm to you that the devil is real.
“Park it aside”
Our days on this earth are pretty mapped out and follow a certain predictable path. Many of us who are working in Nairobi, we put into this cycle … wake up to very nonconstructive and annoying marriage stories on radio in the daily commute to work …. sit in traffic which has become common in Nairobi … get to work only to repeat the same in the evening even the morning radio show which is on replay all over again.
Those with personal cars go through the same cycle but with a sprinkle of flavor. Wake up… tune the dial to something constructive … sit in traffic with the rest … get to work peacefully and repeat the process again in the evening.
This flow is once in a while is visited by the traffic cops who don’t bring hot white coffee to your car but instead unbearable pain. We all know a very easy way to relive that pain at an instance but that’s not the reason for this write up.
This write up is of one person who beat the odds when he was told “weka gari kando”
3000 shillings is easy to loose NOW
Traffic is building up as usual along major roads and you are there asking yourself if you really should go to work. I join Mombasa road from the feeder roads along it as I head for the CBD. In front of me is a long transit truck which is on the outer most lane. Now in our driving schools we are told, the outer lane can work as both a filter or a straight on path in case you get to a roundabout.
On getting to the roundabout, the truck goes on straight ahead but for some unknown reason the traffic cop stops me and asks I park aside. After dealing with other motorists, the cop walks to me and tells me I was on the wrong. Before he could even explain why I was on the wrong he asks for money for the usual bribe.
“Okay officer, where am I wrong first? “ i insist,
“You used the wrong lane” he said in that police accent
Seeing I was not cooperating giving him the bribe he left me in to think about my future.
Am there thinking; this is the year I have chosen not to bribe and this is how I get my first test? A lot was running in my mind. One huge thing I could not stop thinking about is that truck that I was following which am sure by now is about to cross the border into Uganda, why was it not stopped? It is claimed that on that roundabout the outer lane is strictly a filter.
We have become a bribing nation …. we like the easy way out, we don’t want to deal with the mess and that as a country has messed us. That’s why a few of us can get to enjoy the pleasures of life all from money that is not rightfully owned. It is about time I stop complaining about everything that’s wrong and actually do what is right. 3000sh might be easy to loose now but in the long run we are digging ourselves into a hole and killing the future that is our only hope
By the time I was done thinking the policeman was on my window again and I told him to book me in. He wrote them papers and told me to show up in court a few days later and we parted ways. What I had just done was not for us but I was so sure if the future will change, it will start with me.
Kibera Law Courts
“Look here sir, give me 3000 bob and your case is gone forever” someone whispers to me as i get into the court chambers.
Like seriously as you enter the court premises there is a big board that is written you are entering a corruption free zone but this must be the place they brew corruption.
“I have done the whole cow; the tail won’t be that hard for me” that was my reply in Swahili which seems not to have settled well because when I took to the stand I was given two options; 5 months in jail or I part with 20k. For a crime that is not clearly defined anywhere.
Me blood froze in my veins and the lil devil came flying asking me why I never paid the 3000sh but I took a good deep sigh and proceeded to the pay booth with no regrets at all.
Stop with the Bribes
By the time Jimmy finished narrating that story that happened last week, I had so much to talk about
I know most of us are frustrated by the government but if we could all speak in one voice and demand for better it would actually happen
Waiyaki way since late last year is on a fencing project, parts of the fence have been knocked down but the guys responsible to put them never bothered to put them back. Whoever is doing that am sure ignores the fact that the road has not been marked out properly but instead sees it better to fence it and its rather heartbreaking if you think that fence will be brought down when they start expanding the road. Our roundabouts are marked with one cheap paint that lasts a weekend, drivers don’t even know which roundabout is which. Traffic lights that I talked about in this article have been left for the scrap metal dears. We have a matatu society that seems to be above the law, no one in the so called government wants to streamline that society. We have all seen on social media what the matatu sector is doing but yet no one in the government is ready to deal with them. Road blocks on our highways are there for show and no matter how road unworthy you car might be you might just pass through if your pockets are deep enough.
Sad truth is nothing will change anytime soon because you know we have elections, striking doctors, hunger killing Kenyans etc, but dear Kenyans, please stop with the bribes. Make sure your insurance is okay, your Dl renewed and car is in proper driving condition. Follow the road rules as much as you know them. If we are to see change on our roads we have to start by fighting this bribing spirit.
The change you want to see, starts with you, stop with the road bribes and we just might have a shot at creating a better future for the next generation.
Pic from kachwanya.com