On Wednesday this week, an event took place in Embu County that left the whole country thrilled, entertained, inspired and shocked.
A young man attacked and made away with money that traffic police officers had collected at a roadblock. So daring was the raid that it was like the story of a sheep attacking a lion, plucking off one of its teeth and using it like a toothpick to clear grass of its teeth.
As the nation continues to process what took place, our reporter caught up with the upcoming Robin Hood and we were able to get a first-hand account of what transpired.
Seconds to Disaster
Mwangi (not his real name) was just minding his own business in the neighbourhoods of Mufu area of Embu County, thinking about the recent decline in tea prices, the threat that Corona Virus poses in his village, the relevance of the CBC curriculum and the impact that BBI will have on macadamia production in his County.
It was during that moment that Mwangi realized that while the was busy thinking about global and national problems, his immediate problem was finding his next meal and this should take the first priority. It was already noon and soon, children would come home for lunch and they would not buy the story that the GDP is doing just fine when they don’t have lunch. He had to act.
Mwangi had limited options. He already had a huge debt with the local shopkeeper, and was listed with all the CRBs by multiple mobile lending apps. His friends were also in the same situation, and in fact, some of them were looking up to him. The best he could do was to take a walk, perhaps walk away from his problems.
He took the walk towards Kathageri area and found a good shade under a retired mango tree. He sat down and started watching the vehicles plying the Nairobi –Meru highway on the highway about 750 meters away. Somewhere at a corner the vehicles would slow down as a man in a yellow safety jacket waved them to stop. His colleague, a disinterested lady, would walk to the driver’s side, exchange a few pleasantries and wave the vehicle to move on. Occasionally, the police would go to the roadside while pretending to be on phone call, act as if they are tying their shoe laces, and go back to their toll station. This process would repeat every ten vehicles or so.
While Mwangi is no rocket scientist, he knew very well that opportunity knocks once, that is if in the first place, it shows up. He decided to act, and act first.
Being relatively young, physically fit from doing manual labor every day, and having recently watched Eliud Kipchoge do the Ineos Challenge, Mwangi lacked no motivation. He walked quickly towards the target, his feet a little shaky and he was sweating out of fear, motivation and the scorching midday sun. He was man on a mission.
Timing was essential. He varied his speed so as his arrival would coincide with the arrival of three matatus that were approaching from Meru, since they were on the opposite side of the road. He got to the spot just as one office was waving down one vehicle to stop while the other one was inspecting the contents of the driving license of a driver.
He went straight and pulled out the reusable maroon bag that was covered with dry Napier grass and sped off. He did not look back. In fact, he got the details of what transpired after that from the media. He was running for his life, and for life. He says that when he was safely out of danger, he went straight to a friend’s house where he cooled his heels until evening. He later went home and had a big quarrel with the wife because a hungry house knows no peace.
Mwangi was smart enough not to spend the loot on the first day to avoid suspicion. He plans to keep a low profile for a week before he can resume providing regularly to his family, just as he used to do when Kibaki was in power.
Mwangi’s momentary troubles are now sorted. He can afford to live for the rest of the year one fifty bob at a time, armed with 348 mixed fifty bob notes of both the old and the new currency.
Asked about the ethics of stealing, Mwangi said that stealing from a thief cannot be classified as stealing, but a more general method of wealth distribution.
About his long-term goals, Mwangi now plans to be the MCA of Kyeni North ward of Embu County.
The Police spokesperson denied that the event took place and said that those were attempts to tarnish the good name of the Police Service. “If the young man picked a stash of cash near the road where the policemen were based, how can you be sure that it belonged to the police?”
He further advised the traffic police officers involved to report to the nearest police station.
Kenyans are still in stitches.