In Summary
  • “Nissan Unny is an off-road car. Haipendi lami, itateleza,” said Ali, consoling me.
  • “Lazima ukue Kolea ndio uendeshe kwa lami.” I planned to practice driving on the tarmac before the Busia trip.

When some enemies of development called my car mkebe, and said that I could never drive it on a tarmacked road, I felt so bad, but planned to silence them by driving it on the tarmac.

“Nissan Unny is an off-road car. Haipendi lami, itateleza,” said Ali, consoling me. “Lazima ukue Kolea ndio uendeshe kwa lami.” I planned to practice driving on the tarmac before the Busia trip.

Luckily, last Monday, I got a customer who wanted to travel to a place that would need us to use the tarmac, albeit for a short distance. It was Alfayo’s son, Franco Lwambo. Franco’s maternal grandmother had visited them and he wanted me to return her home. She had come using a boda boda, and had been unwell as a result.

Since Kizito was idle, he accepted to accompany me. I did not tell him that I wanted someone who could help me should I be unable to drive on tarmac. The drive before we hit the tarmac was good. I was able to navigate through the rough road smoothly. About an hour later, we hit the tarmac. It was the first time that I was driving on tarmac. I did not understand why someone had said that I could not drive on tarmac, for it was very smooth, and enjoyable.

Until we were stopped by the police. The moment the police beckoned us to stop, I started trembling as I drove.

'RELAX, DRE'

“Relax Dre,” said Kizito. “These are Administration Police, they know nothing about traffic rules.” He told me what to say, and have some Sh200 nearby — just in case. I put Sh200 nearby.

“Wapi driving licence,” the lead officer asked me when I stopped. Ali had organised for me a driving licence a few weeks earlier. I handed it to him. He glanced at it then returned it to me. “Unapeleka abiria wapi?” he asked.

I told him that mine was not a PSV vehicle, that I was taking my grandmother home. He waved me away. We left the tarmac shortly after the encounter, dropped the old woman and drove back. There was nothing to be scared of driving on the tarmac. I could not wait for Jamhuri Day to drive to Busia. Rasto reminded me of our trip on Tuesday evening. At 7.30am, on Jamhuri, he called to say they were ready.

I had not even woken up. I prepared quickly, and was at Rasto’s home a few minutes later. Rasto, his wife, his son, daughter and daughter-in-law and three children were ready.

It was difficult getting everyone seated, but I managed to squeeze everyone in, and we left. We hit the tarmac an hour later. A few kilometres into the tarmac the same AP officers stopped us. The leader whom I had talked to two days earlier came.

“Ni wewe tena?” he asked. He accused me of overloading. Luckily for me the Sh200 I had wanted to give him two days earlier was still nearby; I stealthy gave it to him. He waved us on.

About 45 minutes later, we saw many cars parked beside the road. As we approached, I realised it was a police roadblock. These were not APs, they were traffic police. I started trembling.

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