Sakaja wants Nairobians arrested if caught recording ‘kanjo’ askaris

Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja has defended his enforcement officers popularly known as ‘kanjos’ and ordered them to arrest anyone recording them while they are making arrests.

Mr Sakaja who was speaking during a meeting with the enforcement officers in Nairobi on Monday said those found recording the kanjo’s will be arrested and charged for the offence of obstruction of justice.

“We want a city of order and those who go around recording them doing their duties, make sure you arrest them. That is obstruction of the enforcement of justice. Do your work, do the right thing. Have you ever seen anyone recording the police? So why are they recording you? What you are doing is needed. Let no one look down upon you.” Mr Sakaja said.

The county governor also said some people are out to tarnish the name of the officers by recording them on video and publishing them on social media.

“There are people who want to sensationalize arrests, you arrest someone and they throw things and someone comes to record. If someone has been arrested, do you want us to sing a song to them?” he posed.

The announcement by the county governor comes after several clips leaked online showing the enforcement officers using excessive force while making arrests in the Central Business District (CBD).

Mr Sakaja has been blowing hot and cold over the harassment of traders by the askaris.

In October 2023, he was forced to apologize after a video of the kanjos harassing street vendors went viral.

“We have had cordial relations with informal traders for a year but lately, there have been unfortunate incidents that seek to sabotage that. The happenings in the CBD earlier today were most unfortunate. This is not the way to treat Nairobians,” he said at the time.

He later compensated the traders with Sh10,000 each.

In the latest clip, comedian Erick Omondi captured a video of two distressed women being forced into a waiting city inspectorate vehicle.

The comedian called upon Mr Sakaja to rein in his enforcement officers and ensure that arrests are made in a dignified manner.

In a separate clip that went viral in October 2023, popular TikToker Gloria Ntanzola locked a county enforcement officer in her car and drove him to an unknown destination.

Mr Sakaja later condemned the TikToker for harassing the enforcement officer.

“I saw the viral clip last week of a member of the force being taken to a ‘sleepover’. I will not allow such an incident to happen to our officers in the county government. It is very easy for people to come out and criticise on social media, but they don’t understand the work that enforcement officers do,” Mr Sakaja said at the time.

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