- East Africa
By FLEVIAN MUTIE
In the African context today, almost everyone hopes to be rewarded for doing good. This is something we learn since childhood where we are encouraged to do good for that can always be rewarded. In other cases especially in religion, people are encouraged to do good expecting nothing in return for it.
Whichever way they learned this great lesson of life, Kenyan Police Officers, Amina Mutio and Ibrahim Wamitilla were happy for their good deeds being recognized. During the curfews brought by Covid-19, these two officers based in Baringo were praised by Kenyans for promoting humanity.
Amina, in a viral video that has circulated online and reached millions of viewers, is seen at nightfall, helping a lady cross the road and helping her children scamper to safety, despite the prevailing curfew where any other officer would have either beaten them or detained them. However, this officer chose to help them and not beat them.
While the night curfews were characterized by police brutality, Baringo AP, Commandant Ibrahim Wamitilla chose a different way to handle curfew offenders. He was seen persuading Kenyans to observe the curfew and stay safe, rather than using force or beating them up, which made him stand out as extra-ordinary officer.
In Kenya, the disciplined forces also ensure order by helping put everything and everyone in their place as required. A few of them have however made their day’s duty harder for the uniformed officers as they have always been associated with all sorts of misconduct and malpractices in their line of duty.
The police especially in Kenya have always had their image painted with drab colours, owing to vices and felonies committed by their colleagues including brutality, bribery, innocent executions, murder, rape, shooting or clobbering of innocent Kenyans even to death with no known apparent reason and justification.
This has happened in the Kenyan marketplaces especially on residents returning home from a busy day, even before the onset of the curfew, put in place by the Kenya government and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to contain the COVID-19.
This matter had gotten totally out of control early last year, when President Kenyatta apologized to the wananchi on March 30, following complaints raised by different groups and bodies promoting human rights, over police brutality and abuse before, during and after curfew hours. However, there are the ‘remnant’ who have vowed to stand doing the right thing, with no fear or favour, and with no expectation of either a single reward, as it is their calling and duty.
Whoever said that a little courtesy goes a long way did not mince words as two police officers broke this norm in Nairobi after they got the attention of Kenyans, especially in social media and consequently bagged magnanimous awards after their display of exemplary actions that attracted a sense of good faith from the Kenyan community. The Kenyans on social media commented them during the award ceremony, recently held in Nairobi, at the Embakasi Police Station grounds.
Amina has been highly congratulated by masses especially Kenyans in social media, following her kindheartedness, especially in a time when police brutality was the order of the day during the curfew hours. The officer flagged down drivers, not to ask for a bribe but to sanitize them and ensure their safety. As she worked the night long, she could also sanitize drivers who stopped at nearby filling stations to refuel, especially in Nairobi’s Utawala area where she is assigned to control traffic.
Speaking to IEA News, Amina says small gestures go a very long way, beginning from just giving a lift to a needy or trekking wananchi without necessarily incriminating them. “Doing well to someone else, even when they do not deserve it, feels like a magical tonic that makes a wound disappear. When torn in between two situations, especially when both duty and humanity call both at ago, you have to do the right thing, otherwise you never know how you may end up impacting someone else, whether they revert to appreciate you or not, you never know the result thereof, and for decisions, we do not make them because they are either easy or simple, we make them simply because it is the right thing to do.” she adds.
Amina thanks two entities, Naivas Supermarket, and a media personality and a media houses based in Nairobi, and thanking her followers as well, says that all played a vital role towards her recognition. She adds that the latter have helped her attain the award, says and promised that she can only become better, as the highest reward comes from the most toil, and it is not all about what they get from it, but who they become after doing a simple action that lifts someone else or helps them in a way. It does not matter who one is in the society, whether senior or junior, I encourage people to work not for recognition but to do actions that are worthy recognizing.
Alex Kimina, a resident of Nairobi says that the police are humans too, and ought to be treated as humans. He congratulates the good deeds done by Amina and Wamitilla, adding that he runs an annual campaign dubbed Pikia Karao (cook for the police) geared towards providing food and soft drinks for the police from one station to the other.
Alex also comments a team of three women, who came together to feed police who were manning roadblocks. “It is not what we always see or think, as there are a few like Amina and Wamitilla, who make a difference and eventually stand out. Such always toil hard to show that the police have a sense of humanity in them too” says Alex. “If more Kenyans could volunteer and follow our lead, of interacting freely with the police, and if more officers could follow the example laid by the two, then definitely, we would have a smooth relationship between with the police. I believe that this would clean the image of the police and Kenyans would look at them from a different angle.” He adds.