As i left Nairobi on Tuesday early in the morning,my biggest wish for the day was to set my eyes on my husband and children,and have late lunch as they unravel the happenings during my absence.But this was not to be! I was to stay for more than five hours in a police station,and get home at night!
I had just left CREAW (Center For Rights Education And Awareness for Women) office to see Ann Njogu,a lawyer and activist who had been abused by the police,along with her colleagues.We shared with her that this was not right,and that we must say NO to abuse by the police who are supposed to protect us!
A few hours from then,i was to see the worst arrogance displayed by the police.We all in the van in which we were missed death by a whisker.The policeman saw us approach and threw the road block spikes across the road.The van ran into the spikes,losing control at the same time since there were potholes here.The driver controlled this and the van veered to a stop.
We demanded to be given an explanation for this.It was that "that driver never heeds...".Must we all die for him,and should he be killed by the police anyway?
A second most arrogant policeman came to the scene,demanding and commanding.He wanted to know why the driver had run over their spikes and commanded that he (driver) gives us the fare to get home and him and the van to the Police Station.He arrogantly confiscated the driver's licence and the vehicle insurance sticker.
We know what the police are.We know how stories change at the station.We know the innocent have to bribe their way to be free.This was not to be on this day.As said we were not parting from the driver.We know just how corruption dominates cases.We were ready to stand witness in whatever conditions and circumstances.We vowed not to leave till justice prevailed!
It was a great war there,but we finally won.The police had the story changed.We stood by ours.And to save himself,the police had to accept to buy a new tyre for the car.
In brief,we are tired of police arrogance and abuse.Protectors of our rights have become the biggest abusers.We need somebody to help us from this.And we will continue to stand by our rights!
In the beginning,the policeman believed that women are an inferior lot,for when any of us attempted to talk,he shut us down by waving his hands disrespectfully.At the end of the day,i was happy for him that he learnt one lesson:Women play an equal role to men in socieety.We actually made the case,and the day!
With the soaring prices of commodities and hunger and starvation that the Kenyans are facing,it would be quite unfair to expose us to such uncalled for trouble.If we cannot live home,where do we head to?
Ironically,we were not in trouble this time,it was the policeman!