Irrational stunts are a poor substitute to decency.

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It was not decent for the   owner of this   decrepit bus to purport to ply Thika road offering passenger service transport. For the vehicle that had just stopped at the bus stage to pick passengers was one of those run down PSV that you occasionally see on the city roads. I was with a couple of commuters at the stage who had been waiting for close to twenty minutes for bus   going to the central business district. I could not wait any longer and so my predicament forced the decision. I boarded the PSV against my wishes, paid my   fare and expected to be in town with as little delay as possible. But in the twinkle of an eye, I  realized  that  my  hopes will be disappointed because  a majority of  people  were voting with feet  by  refusing  to board the PSV. As a result   it  kept   moving  and stopping at  every stage  to  pick  more  customers ,the  crew  undeterred  by their unenviable  situation.

We  were  now screeching to  halt  at the following  bus stage, when I saw from  my  side-window   a lean tall man  dressed  like  a hireling at construction site. What followed happened within blink of an eye. There was a scuffle as the man seized the conductor   and declared in loud voice he had arrested him. Taken by ambush the conductor tried to wriggle free from his grip but the man was obviously stronger than him. The driver noticing the commotion   alighted and came around. Fuming, he demanded to know what was going on.

“I have arrested him”, replied the man.

The driver looked at him to take stock of the man and asked,

“And who are to arrest him?”

“I ‘m a policeman based Kasarani police line”.

We were all taken aback. The  two  Matatu  crew   looked at  the man and  then each  other and  perceived  the  half-drunk fellow  was  an impostor out  to bilked them of their  money.

“You are not arresting anyone and I am not giving you any money” the driver defiantly told him.

Upon which the man said if the Matatu crew had the face openly defy him, he would take them to the police station.

“Rather!”  retorted the  driver, thinking  the  guy  was would  never  dare  step  in police  station. If he did, he would be handcuffed and thrown behind bar for racketeering.

We  drove  toward  Kasarani  police  station, but  when we  just about to  take the   exit  from the  highway, we  bumped  into  a traffic policeman  in clean full uniform and  shining  boots. The matter was brought to his knowledge.

The man responded saying he was arresting the conductor   for   hanging on a moving vehicle. And added “I am a police officer’.

The  look on police man’s face confirmed to  us that  man was indeed a policeman  and  they  somehow knew  each  other.

In civilian clothes and off duty, the policeman asked   the man what injury he had suffered at the hands of the bus conductor to   make him to declare that he was a police officer. The man tried to lie but the restive passengers rallied behind the crew and rebuked him.

Sensing the situation could get out of hand the traffic policeman , explained  in a calm voice that  the man was his  colleague and  that he was  on Islamic  Idil Fittir  fasting  and that somehow  this  was   pushing him on the edge. Thanks to the decent police officer, he pulled the man aside for a few words and let us go on with our journey!

What? Oh yes there are decent police officers in Kenya! However that does not mean there are no crooked officers in the police service like the cheat in this incident. Here was policeman, going through perhaps some rough patches in his life. But  instead of being  reasonable and  fair, he was exporting   his  frustration to the innocent bus crew  who  had nothing to  do with his  domestic  problems. It is said hurting people  cause pain to others. But that is like an advertisement stunt   for product that is worthless. Causing pain to others because you are hurting solves nothing, in fact it   simply multiplies meaningless suffering.

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So decency mean letting reason put limit to what you can or cannot do. If you compete with your opponents, expect two things only: victory or defeat. And it will be decent of you to accept defeat with fortitude just as we   expect you to claim your victory with humility. It also means when you are  stressed out, don’t   spread that  emotional stress to innocent people going about their daily chores and some with even greater cares than your own. If you are down, be patient and work your way out. Please sow some seeds of random act of kindness by not spreading the misery you have to others. All the hard knocks   in life should purify and smooth the rough edges of your character. This only possible if you hang in there, ignoring all irrational impulses    and forging ahead with hope.


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