Sakaja orders arrest of Nairobians recording 'kanjo' during operation

Comedian Eric Omondi and Nairobi Governor

Comedian Eric Omondi (left) recorded city askaris harassing traders. Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja (right) has ordered the arrest of anyone recording the enforcement officers during operation.

Photo credit: File | courtesy

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has defended his law enforcement officers popularly known as 'kanjo' and ordered them to arrest anyone who records 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 city askaris would be arrested and charged with the offence of obstructing the course of justice.

In an undated video clip, comedian Eric Omondi captured a video of two distressed women being forced into a waiting kanjo vehicle.

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

"We want a city of order and those who go around recording them doing their duties, make sure you arrest them. This is obstruction of justice. Do your job, do the right thing. Have you ever seen anyone recording the police? So why are the thieves recording you? What you do is necessary. Nobody should look down on you. Mr Sakaja said.

The governor said some people were out to tarnish the name of his askaris by recording videos and posting them on social media. 

"There are people who want to sensationalise arrests, you arrest somebody and they throw things and somebody comes to record it. If someone has been arrested, do you want us to sing a song for them?" he posed.

Clips were posted online

Mr Sakaja's directive comes after several clips were posted online showing law enforcement officers using excessive force during enforcement operations in the Central Business District (CBD).

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

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

"We have had a cordial relationship with informal traders for the past year, but recently there have been unfortunate incidents aimed at sabotaging this. What happened in the CBD today was most unfortunate. This is no way to treat Nairobians," he said at the time.

He later compensated the traders with Sh10,000 each.

In another 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 police officer being taken to a 'sleepover'. I will not allow such an incident to happen to our officers in the county administration. It is very easy for people to criticise on social media, but they don't understand the work that enforcement officers do," Mr Sakaja said at the time.