The festive season is here and the summer bunnies together with other tourists will be in the country to celebrate the holiday. Kenya is one of the most ideal tourist destinations in Africa and fun and adventure is almost guaranteed. However, if you are in Kenya (especially in the city of Nairobi) for the first time, or have simply not been here in a while, then you need to be abreast with some of the city by laws and traffic offences, otherwise you could find yourself in the wrong side of the law and learn your lessons the hard way like one summer bunny ‘Herold’, from the UK did after he was caught on the offensive by the dreaded council askaris the other day.
CROSSING THE ROAD WITH A MOBILE PHONE
Herold was going to meet a cousin in the city centre three days after flying back home for the Christmas holiday and after the taxi driver dropped him off across the street, he crossed to the other side of the road while still on his mobile phone unaware that it was a traffic offence to speak on phone while crossing roads in Nairobi. Some council askari’s pounced on him and after alerting him of the crime he had committed they threatened to load him in the much dreaded and usually overcrowded city council van if he did not part with Sh20, 000.
7,000/- KITU KUBWA
Obviously, by this time the corrupt council askari’s had realized he was new in town and decided to cash in on the opportunity. Luckily, Herold hadn’t lost all of his Kenyan bargaining power even after spending most of his life in the UK so he managed to bargain and the amount was reduced to Sh 7,000. Of course that is still a ridiculously high amount to part with as a bribe for the offence because the actual fine charged is Sh 5,000 but Herold simply had no idea and what he thought would be the popular ‘kitu kidogo’/bribe turned out to be ‘kitu kubwa’/hefty bribe.
Below is a list of 13 things that are prohibited in Kenya:
- If you love your cigar then you need to take it slow because smoking in public other than in the designated smoking zones is a crime.
- Driving or permitting to be driven in any overloaded vehicles.
- Parking in a designated parking space without payment of fees. After paying for your parking ticket you are required to display it on the windscreen of the car failure to which your vehicle will be impounded and you will have to pay a fine.
- In case you are using a public vehicle, it’s also illegal to board a vehicle or alight from non-designated areas.
- Failure to fasten your seat belt or being on phone while driving are traffic offences.
- Spitting on any foot path is a crime that can attract a fine of Sh 2,000 or three months in prison and blowing your nose aimlessly other than into any suitable clothe or tissue might land you in trouble as well.
- Loitering or attempting to procure a female/male for prostitution purpose is a crime punishable by law considering that the vice is illegal, despite the numerous call girls in the streets of Nairobi.
- Defecating or urinating on a street or any other public space is illegal as well
- Enter a public toilet without first paying any fee which the Council may charge for its use.
- Willfully annoy or interfere in any way with the privacy of any other person using a public toilet.
- In case you are in a hurry, be warned that overlapping, obstruction, driving on pavements or through a petrol station to avoid traffic is an offence and you risk a fine of Kshs 100,000 -300,000 or One year in jail or both.
- Driving under influence of alcohol is a traffic offence that attracts a fine of Ksh 500, 000 or ten years in jail or both.
- Public nuisance is not entertained in the city either and could land you in trouble with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).