about a week ago Friday, i experienced what would put the reality TV programs to shame. It just started after i decided it was time to benefit from the kibaki economy and acquire an image boosting state of the art automobile with superior road handling, performance, comfort et al (ok am pushing that a little...) Well, so i come home after spending a few more Kenyan shillings and while am waiting for the gate to be oppened, what do i hear? a metallic tap on the drivers window, before i can breathe i hear another on the left and am being asked if i know what those tools are for. i nod and mumble yes to both questions and i can also see our guard being man handled. before i know it, i have been bundled in the back seat next to the watchie and the car is zooming on the rough stretch that went to our estate. interestingly, i had passed two armed policemen about 50 meters from where i was robbed of the car, and now again the thugs have driven past them without even a flinch. they are warning me against pressing any button or screaming or doing anything related to raising alarms. the watchie has been asked how many they are, whether there are alarms etc. i am trying not to do anything to offend these enterprising young men of kibaki administration. they are simply reaping the benefits of improved economic environment. we turn onto tarmac, drive a few metres then onto another rough road, they are going fast. in fact they are simply demonstrating to me how good this machine is. i got value for my money! after a long, rough drive where my thoughts have gone from my lovely kids, to my wife , my funeral and the pain of seeing this new car take such a beating, we stop and they declare that they have nothing to do with the watchie. its me they want. they have already asked about my marital status, number of kids, job description,level of education, salary and allowances,when do we get paid,the cost of car and mode of acquisition
At the bush where we have stopped, my pockets have been emptied.my ATM cards taken and i have been forced to jot down my PIN number at gun point. then one of the young men has given me a torch and asked me to look for more money in the car and hand over to them. no more. but now they look at my fingers and order me to remove the wedding ring with my wife's name on it. these guys can easily see gold. so the leader tells me he is now going to withdraw the money , the other two thugs guard us in the coffee plantation. meanwhile they are communicating with each other thanks to safaricom; confirming if everything is alright and the money has been withdrawn.
after what seems like eons, the guy is back and we start off again to God knows where. twists, turns, high speed, reversing. hills, gulleys, mounds, rough road, smooth road...! we stop again and they are now removing my original kenwood stereo. they have no screw driver. funny thugs. by this time both the guard and myself have been bundled in the boot of the car. after some struggle they ask me for a screw driver which i helpfully give to them. they then remove my stereo and we are on again. back to tarmac and we drive for eons. we are meanwhile in the boot with the old man. i never knew my six-foot-two figure could fit in the boot but the gun just showed me it was possible. actually the boot ride was rather comfortable. the car must have very good suspension. again we stop. am thinking this must be somewhere in nyeri of thika. since we have been driving for nearly two hours at top speed and the car has been handling the ride well. two of them step out. there is one of them who keeps on being bullied by the other two. he is not allowed to be near them and they keep ordering him about. i can pick a few words of the thug tongue. we lie in the boot for like donkey years. each time i try to turn, i hear warning that i will be shot!
well then all of a sudden the boot opens rudely and we are told to get out. "Walk that way straight on and you will reach the road" they offer. "and mzee, we dont really want your car, we will give it back to you. dont look for it too much. we will leave it at Limuru golf club"
we start off and realize we are in deep inside a forest with very tall trees. we are thanking the Lord all along for our lives. we dont know where we are going or where we are. straight on. we get a gate secured with a padlock. so we go round and climb the fence. further on we meet another fence and climb only to end up at a fast flowing river. after much struggle and search we get a make shift bridge and use it across. finally we end up at another tall fence this time unsurmountable. we trace our steps again and get another fence , lower than the other. we have been walking for about 45 minutes. we climb this fence and land into a home. Hell! the curse of Murphy. from the pan unto the fire. 4 ferocious dogs come charging. their loud backs alone have turned me into jelly. they are very big. but the guard tells me that the dogs wont attack if we slouch and remain still. i couldn't believe that but upon doing like the guard said. the dogs stop at their 'paws' but continue backing like their life depends on it. finally the watchie in the home comes slowly and asks who we are, we tell the guy our story but he doesn't believe us. he goes back and presses the alarm. before long, the patrol has come. we tell our story again and they take us to the police.
The police station is empty. do we knock shout or what? we wait and finally one officer comes and asks us our problem. we tell our story. the guy takes about 1 hour recording the incidence. but he says he cannot 'circulate' the car because he is not the duty officer. that thing can only be done by the duty officer who is out at the moment we must wait for him. its now going to 6AM. the guy aint coming. the car hasn't been circulated and i can imagine that if the thugs wanted to take the car to tanzania, they must be in namanga by now. the guards who had been good samaritans to us declare that their limit of their kindness has arrived and they can no longer wait with us. they had wanted to take us home once we report the crime. so they leave us at the station where we wait for one more hour and the duty officer is still not arrived yet. finally i decide to get 911 to take me home so that i can tell my family whats up and come back later (by the way 911 is very handy in case of trouble) just at that time the duty officer comes and starts asking me the questions all over again. after listening to our story, he declares that the area where we were car jacked in not in his jurisdiction and so he cannot take any action! am speechless. i stare at the man blankly but he intones that i must go to the police station near my place of residence where the crime took place and report. i don't reply and i just stare blankly at him like a fool. he then tells me he will just help anyway and he then talks onto the radio to the other policemen to tell them about he robbery. after that am told to come later for the police abstract.
after just an hour, i go to my friends house near the station, we get a call that my car is at the traffic headquarters. i go there and they even give me the description of the thugs who took my car. the police tells me even where to get my stereo. where it will be sold etc. but they want chai for the chief who found the car in park road. another chai is needed for the police who went for it. and a third chai for the wazee who are going to sit after work! well thats after paying for towing. i thought i told these guys that i was robbed of the money i had plus some from two banks?
anyway am happy to be re-united with my car and all i want is get home and rest. its now 12 midday. retrieving the car from the police took about 4 hours. bureaucracy. no sooner do i get into the car than i realize that i am very very hungry!