Administration Police Constable Joash Ombati does not understand why people are sharing his pictures, Force Number and story on social media.
“After all, I was doing my job, and that is what police officers do every day,” he says.
But it is certainly not every day that a Kenyan police officer takes a taxi at his own cost, chases robbers and helps an abductee recover his stolen money.
That is what Constable Ombati did on Wednesday. As he was waiting to cross the road on his way for lunch at about 1.40 pm, he noticed a commotion in an oncoming car. The car was speeding towards Museum Road.
“Suddenly, I saw the back left door of the white vehicle open and a man thrown out together with a black bag. He screamed ‘Wezi! Wezi!’ as he stood up and tried to follow the car,” Mr Ombati recalled.
COCKED HIS GUN
The car, which had tinted windows, sped past Mr Ombati, who cocked his gun and tried to stop it, but the driver did not stop.
“I told the man, who was screaming that he had lost money, to go to the police station as I pursued the robbers. I then took a taxi that was nearby and asked the driver to follow the car.
“As we followed the car, I cautioned the driver and gave him a few safety tips, in case the people we were pursuing started shooting, because I did not know who they were and whether they were armed,” he said.
Constable Ombati then shot the vehicle’s tyres to deflate them, but still it did not stop. Instead, it made a U-turn and almost knocked down a traffic police officer as it sped on Parklands Road.
“Although I had deflated the tyres, the car was still moving fast on the rims, so I called for reinforcements,” he said.
When the robbers approached Mayfair Hotel, they ran into a traffic jam but simply overlapped and headed towards Parklands Police Station, where there was less traffic.
“I alerted a policeman at the gate that I was pursuing a robber, then shot in the air. Moments later, the car reached a blocked road and stopped. I had to be tactical because I did not know whether the robbers were armed.
“I shot in the air several times, asking them to surrender. The driver came out first, with his hands in the air. I told him to lie down on the ground as I flushed out the other occupant,” Mr Ombati said.
As the two suspects lay on the ground, the public gathered around and kept asking Mr Ombati to shoot them dead.
“The suspects had surrendered so there was no need to use more force. They were no longer a threat,” Mr Ombati said, adding that he wanted to uphold human rights and dignity.
The 6th Schedule of the National Police Service Act 2011 stipulates that a police officer shall always attempt to use non-violent means first, and that force may only be used only when non-violent means are ineffective.
Shortly thereafter, officers from Parklands Police Station, who had been alerted, arrived and helped arrest the two.
The occupants of the Toyota NZE, registration number KBJ 614J, were identified as Mr Sameer Abdulaziz Kassim and Mr Peter Kavoi Musili.
Their victim, Mr Amos Charo Saro, a businessman from Voi, later arrived at the Parklands Police Station and reported that he had travelled to Nairobi because the two, whom he interacted with on OLX, had promised to sell him construction materials cheaply.
When they met, the two took him to Westlands, where they boarded a vehicle supposedly to take him to see the materials and meet a Mr Patel. But they took his Sh732,000, and threw him out of the vehicle along the way.
In March this year, Mr Ombati also won accolades after he helped rescue the passengers in a matatu that had been hijacked in Kangemi.