Traffic police officers who collect bribes from motorists may start looking for ways of securing their loot after an incident in which a man in Embu County stole a bundle of notes, then fled.
The daring act happened at around 1pm on Wednesday on a stretch of the Nairobi-Meru highway near Kathageri shopping centre. A witness told Nairobi News that the man emerged from the bush, grabbed the officers’ stash, then vamoosed up a steep slope adjacent to the road.
The witness, who was driving on the stretch when the incident happened, said there were two officers at the spot – male and female.
The male officer, he said, attempted to run after the loot grabber but the young man had timed his run well and was well into the thicket.
Moreover, the officers were on the lane opposite the spot where the loot was being kept, and the fact that the male officer had to check for traffic before crossing over gave the daredevil a few more seconds to dash away.
The nonplussed officer gave up chase and could only hurl expletives at the swift young man.
“There are these steep roads that connect to the road, and the spot where the officers were based is shaped like a wedge. That is the road the young man used to escape. On realising he could not catch the young man, the officer shouted at him many times. But there is little he could do as the man vanished into the bush,” said the witness.
The traffic officers were not armed, only carrying the usual batons.
About four vehicles had been stopped for inspection when the incident happened and all the motorists could do was sit back and enjoy the drama.
“It was like a five-second bank job,” the witness said.
Because of sting operations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, wayward traffic police officers typically do not pocket the cash they extort from motorists, preferring to keep it at a central spot until they are done.
In busy areas, where it is impossible to do that, traffic police often have trusted civilians to collect bribes on their behalf.