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Thief who robbed traffic police officers of bribe cash hailed as a hero

Kenyans on social media were almost unanimous on Thursday that a young man in Embu County who stole cash that traffic police officers had collected in bribes should be given a hero status.

The young man appeared to have studied the patterns of the bribe-taking police officers manning a roadblock between Chuka and Kathegeri on the Nairobi-Meru highway.

At around 1pm on Wednesday, as a male officer and his female colleague went on with their inspection and extortion, the man emerged from the bushes, grabbed the notes the cops were keeping at a not-so-hidden spot near the road and dashed up a steep slope by the road.

The daring act was witnessed by a source who was in a group of about four motorists who had been stopped by the officers when the incident happened.

The source, who opted to be anonymous, said the officers could not chase the swift man who took advantage of the fact that they were on the side of the road opposite to where they were keeping the loot.

Reacting to the news, Kenyans — who have long been fed up with the extortionist traffic police officers — celebrated the young man as a hero.

Here are some of the posts showing their amusement over the incident.

Frank: “This guy needs to be recognised on Mashujaa Day.”

Jason: “The greatest newsflash I have ever read online. Thank you thief for well-done job. He is a hero he deserves a presidential award, EBS.”

Evance: “That thief should be given a state commendation. And we hereby demand that the thief be provided with the fully armed security with immediate effect from today since his life might be in danger.”

John: “That’s not a thief, in fact you should be sued for defamation. He just recovered “our money” from the thieves. Kudos to him. That road should be renamed after him.”

Mure: “Congratulations. I think we need another holiday to celebrate this.”

Josey: “That thief should be awarded with state commendation, i.e. EGH for stopping reggae on the stage.”

Fredrick: “More of such robberies will help shape traffic. I am sick of traffic police.”

Morris: “No honour among thieves. But I guess two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Alembi: “This thief should address the nation.”

Pal: “Where should the police report to?”

Mwangi: “They finally got their match.”

Abdulrazack: “How many gangster points for daring thief? Not the daily thief.”

Edwin: “Literal meaning of tackling #corruption head-on.”

Kymani “The cop should report this to the nearest police station for action.”

David: “You can be sure that thug was cursed by the police officer a million times. This guy is a hero, he should have his special slot in the BBI.”

Modal: “Once in a while, you read about a great story that you can one day tell to your kids.”

Bribe-taking is a multi-million industry among traffic police officers as was revealed during past vetting exercises of senior police officers.

The officers on the checkpoints, and civilians whom they sometimes use to collect bribes, are usually at the bottom of the chain. They deliver most of the loot to their seniors, who in turn send some to their seniors that have set targets for them.

For instance, in 2016 it was revealed that a traffic police officer earning less than Sh50,000 a month transacted nearly Sh100 million on mobile M-Pesa in four years, translating to about Sh3 million a month.