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Life In Kenya: When The Police Are The Crooks And The Magistrates Malingerers (Part 1)

Life In Kenya: When The Police Are The Crooks And The Magistrates Malingerers (Part 1)

Both of these two short stories are true.  Part 2 will follow at 5pm today…


About a month ago an acquaintance of this Kenya Forum correspondent had electrical equipment valued at about Sh500,000 stolen from his workshop in Nairobi. It was a financially damaging and annoying but fortunately the guy had CCTV at his workplace and from that he recognised one of the thieves, a former employee of his company.

The answer to the problem was therefore simple: he knew where the former employee lived, all he had to do was contact the police, they would raid the premises, get some of the equipment back and lock up the burglars.

Well, of course, it wasn’t that simple.


The guy went to the police. They wanted money to raid the thief’s house as they didn’t think it was worth their time. The guy didn’t want to tell them how much the equipment was worth because the police would want an even bigger payment.

Eventually a price of Sh100,000 was agreed, the price that is, for the police to take action. The guy went off to get the money. When he came back the police weren’t interested. They had found out the value of the stolen equipment. The thieves had paid them more not to take action.

When the guy was at the police station, detectives from another division turned up obviously in hot pursuit of a criminal. It turned out that they were after one of the gang who had stolen the electrical equipment but this time for running off with a young girl, the daughter of a police officer (so no fee to take action there).


The detectives subsequently caught up with the runaways. All they had to do was contact Safaricom who kept the police informed of his whereabouts by tracking his mobile phone.

The Kenya Forum is not sure what is more concerning; that the police are more crooked than the crooks or that they can just call Safaricom to track someone down. It might be runaways today, it could be political opponents tomorrow…


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