The presidential directive in Kenya for people to work from home is already taking casualties. In Nairobi, a Bank teller was arrested for trying to carry more than KShs 800,000 from the bank under the excuse that he was planning to be working from home.
In a case that puzzled even the police, the 27-year-old bank teller packed the notes in a briefcase before attempting to leave the bank during his lunch break, only to be stopped by security staffing the entrance to the Bank. The security guys wanted to know the content of the briefcase before allowing him to leave, which he promptly declared to be work related materials meant to allow him to work remotely has he suspected he would have a cough the next day.
The man was allowed to leave the bank without further interrogation, until five minutes later when the CCTV operations desk raised the alarm of something terribly wrong. On reviewing the footage, the man was seen at his desk packing 160 bundles of notes each containing fifty 1000-shilling notes, before making for the door.
Fearing that it would cause unnecessary commotion, the bank did not raise an alarm. Instead, two policemen guarding the bank were quickly dispatched to trace the staff who by now had left the bank. Luckily, with a deserted city due to Corona Virus fears and the long queues at the public transport vehicles, they found the man at the stage ready to board a bus where they promptly arrested him.
The incidence has caused a stir on social media with people wondering whether the person is a thief, or a law abiding citizen who was trying to follow the presidential directive. His co-workers described him as a quiet and hardworking man who lately has been following all the news on Covid-19 outbreak.
Even the bank management was lost for words. Asked if they have explored the possibility of allowing their staff to work from home, the branch manager just gave a blank expression before coughing twice, thus ending the interview.
We caught up with the young man at Kilimani Police Station where although he did not want to speak to the media, he gave his side of the story. He said that he was worried about contracting the virus at work, bearing in mind that their branch serves high end clients who travel widely, and therefore wanted to carry the money home so that he can set up operations there.
“This money would help me serve my neighbors and everyone else wherever I am. I do not understand why the bank does not see the logic.” He further added, “Even on a normal day, it is very unfair that I am not allowed to carry samples home. People in other industries do this all the time.”