I was doing a clean-up assessment on the articles I have posted on my blog and I was somehow surprised on how I have been such a bad critic and always finding fault with the Government. This may not have been my idea whenever I pick a pen to write something but I guess there is quite a lot of expectations from us and other Kenyans from those quarters.
I also notice how I have let my fellow workmates off the hook; and almost made everybody believe that we are a bunch of honest hardworking people earning their living in the wrong job; but this is not the whole story. Our industry is full of criminals thieves, pick-pockets, extortionist, sex offenders and you name it. The industry provides a perfect cover for those who prey on unsuspecting crowds.
There is this group that calls itself the Kamjeshi; their job description is not yet fully defined although they are part of everyday running of matatu business. This group is in every major route in the city and in almost every town across the country. There is no known connection between the groups, the matatu workers or even within their network. They obviously don’t have an overall leader unlike other sects that have interest in the industry. Each group is unique and restricted to individual route. The most interesting thing is that; they all operate almost the same.
There is no membership or allegiance to a certain code. Everybody earns his own take depending on the means they use to get the money. They don’t operate as group and in fact they don’t necessarily have to know each other. The most you can find working as a team is 5-6 people. Some are pick-pockets, there are Phone snatchers and not forgetting the innocent.
The pick-pockets are the most common. They work in a group of 4-6 guys and are most tempting to conductors as they are ordinary passengers and pays full fare. They dress like college students and even carry back-packs and very large clipboards. They are most active during peak hours and end-months when the demand is higher than the supply and passengers are pushing to find space in the few seats available. Passengers don’t notice when their wallets leave their pockets and their handbags ransacked. Conductors also fall victims to these criminals although they are mostly blamed when the customers discover the losses.
The phone-snatchers don’t actually get inside the matatu but all the same they steal from the same. There are a few isolated cases of this group actually robbing the crew but many a time; they prey on passengers toying with their phone with the windows opened. They mostly run along the matatu and sometimes hang on bumpers pretending they are demanding something from the conductor. Sometimes an argument may ensure as the crew don’t have any idea what they want money for; and this provides them with an opportunity to grab every passengers attention and forget guarding their properties. This is when they snatch and run.
The mugger’s are the most vicious as their game plan is not only dangerous but also hurtful to the victims. This group of mostly 5-7 guys boards the matatu like ordinary passengers and somewhere between, they pick-up argument with fellow passengers and starts fights inside the matatu. Before the driver knows what is happening, everybody in the car is screaming for him to stop and throw the fighters out. Once the driver stops the criminals pull’s their victim out of the car and continue to fight on the ground. Once the war-ing group is out of the car the other passengers demand to be taken to their destination leaving the muggers to mug one of their own.
I had mentioned the innocent; but to be honest they are as many as virgins in a maternity hospital. I don’t rule out the possibility of there being some just like there was Mary the mother of Jesus.