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Three hoodlums, the twilight and a policeman for an accountant

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on April 26, 2009

He requested to buy some clothes because he did not carry lots as he traveled. So they went into the shop and haggled as is the custom. After about thirty minutes, they had agreed on prices for the shirts and long trousers and only one thing remained to be done. The trousers legs needed to be hemmed to fit him. So they engaged in some chit-chat to pass time as they waited for the clothes to be brought back from the tailor. They talked and talked and after almost three quarters of an hour, they were getting got uneasy.

It was getting late and they needed to get home early enough. A lady shop attendant asked a seemingly harmless question which with hindsight might explain the rest of the events of the day. She asked “where do you stay?” And the answer came thoughtlessly, they said, around stage X. And she said well, the trousers will be here any time now. When the clothes, nicely done by now were brought, it was about six-thirty in the evening. They left promptly and walked fairly briskly to the bus terminus. They boarded a matatu and soon were en route. The trip went without incident but somewhere mid-stream, one passenger requested to alight.

The driver complained bitterly but stopped nevertheless for the passenger to alight. His bone of contention was that the conductor should not have picked passengers for that stage because of frequent reports of hijackings around there. The conductor grunted and did not utter a word. Shortly after that, they arrived at their destination. There were several of of them alighting at that stage and so the vehicle came to a complete stop. One gentleman alighted ahead of him, and he followed. The colleague was seated on the front middle passenger seat of the Toyota Hiace vehicle. He gestured to him to alight because they had arrived. The passenger door was locked, so those moments which were spent trying to open the door proved to be one too many. Three men pounced on the vehicle from three directions. One approached from behind him, another from behind the conductor who was standing at the doorstep and ushering his passengers out. The other approached the driver’s side and took over control of the vehicle. He was knocked with a metal on the back of the head and the conductor got a big gush on the top of his head. As he turned round to ask what the matter was, the thug hit him on the face and pushed him back into the vehicle. This whole episode lasted about five minutes and once everybody was pushed inside, the vehicle sped off.

One old man alarmed by the blows his fellow paseenger was getting protested that they did not have to hurt him that way. He in turn got several hard blows to his head. They were quickly driven into a deserted and bushy area and all the while, being robbed of money, watches, mobile phones, and other valuables. By now he was drenched in blood, the clothes stained beyond belief. Every time somebody was slack in giving money, the passenger nearest the thugs was knocked on the head. “Ree mbeca, ngui ici”, ree ciote! They went. The passenger who happened to be nearest them could not give any more money because he had given all; he could not understand the language they were speaking but he was the drum which was used to demand for the money from others. So with one hand demanding for money, the other hand was used to hit the hapless gentleman with the piece of metal. As he watched them take everything from the passengers, resentment started building within himself. He asked himself, it is bad enough to steal because you are broke or unwilling to take up gainful employment but why make this the language of thievery also? Why? Wont people become suspicious of everyone who speaks the same language as you the thief? He still feels the pain to date, and misses his memory stick which contained many months’ worth of work. He later had to ask what they meant by the shouted commands and he was told it was a mixture of abuses and demands for all the money. But this scourge will one day turn everybody against the community because it will be perceived wrongly that their language is the language of thieves! Why? Because thieves use it when robbing people of their property. This of course would be a wrong perception. Nothing was recovered by the police who came to the lonely scene after about ten minutes.

The police seemed more anxious to know what was stolen but not to get the person who stole it. He still wonders about that stance to this day! Then the policeman said, ah, those people were not armed! The policeman meant he knew them and knew they were not armed. Was he getting a clear record of the loot to support his bargain for a fair cut??????


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