A man was arrested yesterday by cops for a traffic violation and what he did was contrary to what most people do. Eric Ngala Opiyo, managing partner of one of Kenya’s top human resource firms, was arrested for talking on his phone while driving. On arrest Opiyo said that rather than bribe the police officer, he wanted to be taken to court to deal with the law.
Here is what Eric wrote,
“I FELT THE URGE BUT TOLD MYSELF TO KEEP TO THE PROMISE OF NOT PAYING A TRAFFIC POLICEMAN ANY BRIBE. LAST YEAR I LOST A COOL KSHS 10,000 ON POLICE BOND AND I WAS AGAIN ARRESTED TODAY. THE OFFENSE WAS, SPEAKING ON PHONE WHILE DRIVING. THE LAW IS LAW, WHETHER THERE WAS TRAFFIC SNARL OR NOT, SO I OBEYED THE POLICE RIDER’S ORDERS.
IT GOT WORSE WHEN I ADMITTED THE OFFENSE ONCE I PULLED OUT OF TRAFFIC. THE NEXT ORDERS IN VERY HARSH TONE WAS FOR ME TO FOLLOW HIM TO KILIMANI STATION. AS A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, I FOLLOWED HIM. LET ME CUT THE LONG STORY SHORT AND MOVE TO MY ACTIONS THEREAFTER;
Cop: Where do you work, unakaa smart sana
Me: I am a consultant
Cop: Hao wako wengi, hata Mimi ni consultant
Me: I laugh and ask him, wa barabara na kushika watu wabaya kama mimi
Cop: Wacha story mingi. Tukusaidie aje na ulikuwa unaenda wapi
Me: With my kizungu mingi. I was heading for a meeting
Cop: Now you know if you go to court, you will pay 5k. Now tell me how to help you
He handed me over to his mean looking colleague and got on his bike and sped off. I have promised not to bribe. I know the consequences of bribing. My wife Liz Ngala knows the story.
Me: I know I have made a mistake but was only asking for direction. You have two options officer, to pardon me or book me for court
Cop: Aiiiiii! Sio namna hiyo. You have the money now?
Me: Not really but if needed I will get it. I reminded myself you do not tell a policeman you have money. All of it will go. I insisted if I can’t be pardoned then I head to court.
You should have seen his face. Interestingly, the book had no many names booked. I am sure many were arrested today.
“SO TOMORROW I HEAD TO COURT AND I WILL ADMIT. I STAND WITH ALL KENYANS AGAINST BRIBERY. THE SAME KENYANS CALLED POLICEMEN ARE BRIBED AND WE END UP ALLOWING DRUGS AND TERRORISTS INVADE OUR LAND. I DID MY SMALL PART TODAY. WOULD YOU PLEASE PLAY YOURS? SOUNDS FUNNY I KNOW, LET’S TRY IT WILL BE A NORM SOON.
I NEED A LAWYER TO REPRESENT ME. MY OFFER, REPRESENT ME AND IF CHARGED KSHS 500 OR LESS THAN 5K, THE LAWYER CASHES IN FOR THE REMAINDER. I WILL HAVE AWARDED A HARD WORKING KENYAN. ANY VOLUNTEERS?????”