We got to chat with a wonderful civil servant Saturday (on Ian’s birthday).
On the drive home from Nairobi we were stopped by the police at a police check-point. Generally only buses, mutatus and trucks are stopped so they can pay a bribe.
Our man in blue did not state a reason for stopping us.
Just asked the following, in this order:
Where are you coming from? *Nairobi
Buy me lunch. *Ignored
Open your boot (trunk). (He paws through our bags for a while)Show me your drivers license. *Ian produces Kenyan paperwork for the license he has paid fees for but hasn’t received in the posta yet.
Where is your US license? *Ian doesn’t have it
Why don’t you have it? *Ian left it at home
Where do you live? *Makongeni
What part of Makongeni? *Across from the police station
I live in Makongeni. *Oh
Obviously we were getting nowhere. Then I popped up from the backseat with my camera and loudly said, “Hey, do you want me to take your picture?” Silence. Then a smile. Then I said, “I’ll print it and leave it for you” knowing that by chance he would relish having a copy of his picture just like almost every other Kenyan I’ve met, adult and child alike. Suddenly Mr. Policeman who was just downright gruff & soliciting a bribe for no obvious offense is nice and friendly and this results:
You should note that he was kind enough to hold his AK-47 down out of the picture.
Really, there is a reason that Kenya receives the most US Foreign Aid of ANY African country, yet is still experiencing severe poverty, lack of development, drought etc., etc.
Anyhow, if you want to read up on Corruption, go here: http://www.internationalreportingproject.org/stories/detail/1268/