The Nairobi city inspectorate officers have once again showed their callousness and viciousness in enforcing order in Nairobi.
In an ugly fits of rage yesterday, they threw a teargas canister into a mini-bus full of passengers.
The canister exploded, choking the innocent Umoja-bound passengers and started a fire that damaged the vehicle’s seats.
The officers, who were marshalling traffic in the Central Business District (CBD), accused the driver of ‘obstruction an illegal parking’.
“There was nothing wrong I had done because I had parked the vehicle by the roadside and I was not blocking anyone,” the matatu driver Patrick Kariuki told journalists.
A confrontation ensued with Kariuki holding forth he was not doing anything wrong.
It did not end there.
The city council officers popularly known as ‘Kanjos’ reportedly towed the mini-bus away before beating up the driver and his conductor.
Now, their boss –Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko– wants them punished.
“Hawa watakiona (They will face my wrath) Why throw a tear gas canister to passengers when provoked by PSV operators. My apologies kwa wale wametupiwa tear gas,” the County boss said.
History of violence
Nairobi City Inspectorate askaris are not strangers to accusations of being crude, sadistic, savage and unwelcome to questioning. In August 2018, they attacked award-wining author Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor.
Her jacket was ripped off, blouse torn and left half naked outside Lavington Mall. The 2003 Caine Prize winner was accused of ‘hawking, littering and dumping, assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and obstructing justice’.
A series of reforms was promised after the incident attracted heavy criticism.
Months later, Sonko unearthed a cartel of imposters who had been issuing people with fake receipts.
The governor warned city residents to beware of fake city council officials masquerading as departmental heads.
Sonko went ahead and shared a video of an alleged imposter who was busted by police while in possession of fake staff ID and national ID, as well as receipts from various departments.
The suspect claimed to be working with other officers employed in different departments.