In Summary
  • The tuktuk operator revealed that he decided to defend himself because he had been a victim of constant harassment from traffic officers who demanded bribes.

  • He said he was driven by anger at his smashed side mirror and the memory of the incessant harassment.

  • He insisted that traffic police officers must stop harassing motorists by taking advantage of the ongoing crackdown.

  • The National Police Service, the Independent Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the Kenya Motorist Association condemned attacks against the police.

A tuktuk operator in Nakuru who was recorded on video while locked in a violent struggle with two traffic police officers now says he was provoked to a fight after they harassed him.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation on Monday, the tuktuk operator revealed that he decided to defend himself because he had been a victim of constant harassment from traffic officers who demanded bribes.

SMASHED

He said that, on that day, they had stopped him in what he thought would be a routine traffic stop.

“I was carrying three passengers heading to town and when one of the officers signaled me to stop l complied,” said the man who is in his 30s.

As he slowed down to stop, one of the officers hit and smashed one of his side mirrors using a police button.

“I got angry and demanded to know why he had destroyed my side mirror. The officers became arrogant and threatened to tow my tuktuk to the Nakuru Central Police Station. I knew l had to resist the harassment,” he said.

He disclosed that the officers had stopped two other tuktuks that were ahead of him and he saw the police receive money from the drivers.

INCESSANT HARASSMENT

“In my mind, l was prepared to resist. I decided not to part with any money that day. They have been intimidating us all along, but l felt enough was enough and that is why l decided to confront them,” he said.

The anger at his smashed side mirror and the memory of the incessant harassment, he says, prompted him to act in resistance.

“I am the bread winner in my family and l rely on my tuktuk to earn my keep. So l felt angered by police bullying and their threats to arrest me,” he explained.

He said he was not remorseful for his actions, insisting that traffic police officers must stop harassing motorists by taking advantage of the ongoing crackdown.

Eye witnesses interviewed by the Nation also criticized the traffic police who, they said, mount random roadblocks and harass motorists as they demand bribes.

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