Coastweek -- Last
week I considered the evolution of parking and the regulations
that govern parking,
writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.
It involved the
consideration of parking from the days of animals and horse
drawn carriages to the modern forms of transport.
We will continue
this week on incidents in car parks that came to Kachumbari’s
attention in recent weeks.
The first incident
happened at around four a.m. in the morning in the car park of a
reputable hotel somewhere in our capital city – Nairobi.
One of Kachumbari’s
friends who is an avid gym member is one of the regular early
She normally arrives
in the gym at around the same hour of the morning and there are
a few others who arrive around that time as well.
On this specific
day, she arrived shortly after four thirty in the morning and
found two high end cars – one a Range Rover and the other a
Porsche – parked with the boots backed to the fence and the rear
doors were both open.
There were several
people standing at the back end of the vehicles engaged in
conversation but there was also some activity happening at the
back end of the vehicles.
The young lady also
parked facing out wards with the boot also hugging the fence.
She was driving a
She went to collect
her gym bag from the boot and glanced across to the two high end
cars and saw four people busy talking and sorting out hard cash
from two sacks that were open.
There were an
additional three sacks in the back of the cars.
From the activity,
it appeared that the people in the car park were packing loose
money from a sack in one car and transferring them into large
envelopes that appeared to be containing about one million
shillings per envelope.
These were being
stuffed into sacks in the boot of the second car.
From a quick
estimate, there was probably some one hundred plus million
What struck the lady
was the impunity of the people.
Here they were in
the middle of a car park brazenly handling a lot of money in
cash and they were only slightly shielded from the gaze of the
security personnel that were guarding the car park – suggesting
that they had been paid to look the other way.
It would also
suggest that it was a regular activity in that particular
The only conclusion,
considering the timing when this activity was taking place, was
that it must have been linked to some of the scandals that were
hogging the headlines at that time especially as there were a
large number of people that were due to appear in court that day
for a decision as to whether they would be granted bail or
remanded in custody.
The way the money
was being packaged suggested a team that was probably scheduled
to bankroll the bail process for the people involved in the
scandal at that time.
Kachumbari did some
calculations a few days after the suspects in the scandal had
been released on bail – which was paid in cash – and found that
the estimated amount from the car park incident happened to be
in the ball park of the total amount paid.
Another car park
incident that was brought to my attention occurred in one of the
many car parks that we find adjacent to or as part of the many
developments in and around the various towns and cities in the
One of the regular
users of the car parks who had an annual card one day started to
notice a funny smell in the car park.
He could not quite
describe it at first but he related the smell to a garbage dump
that had grown adjacent to the car park as a result of the
various office blocks and residential apartments in the area
that were all using the car park.
After a few days,
the smell was so strong that he decided to walk through the car
park to check what was happening.
After about half an
hour he zeroed in on a car that was parked at a remote part of
eth car park.
The smell was
emanating from the car and was so strong that it overpowered
that one from the illegal garbage tip adjacent to the car park.
He reported to the
owner of the car park – suspecting that there may have been foul
The car park owner
decided to call in the cops and they came in full gear with
dogs, bomb experts and all sorts of technical supporting staff.
This was because
there were some important people staying in the neighbourhood
and they did not want to create any headlines from the findings.
After many hours
spent with dogs sniffing the car and all sorts of probes being
used, the police concluded that there was no explosive in the
car and decided to go physical and open the car.
What they found
causing the foul smell was hidden in the boot of the car.
It was full of
vegetables and fruit that had started rotting and was infested
with maggots and flies.
The boot happened to
be so well constructed that there was nothing dripping on to the
floor of the parking area.
The boot was a small
container of liquid goo.
The cops got hold of
an exhauster vehicle and brought it to the car park and it
sucked all the liquid stuff in the boot and they then sat about
cleaning and de-odourising the boot.
It took half a day
to complete the job and they left the car there despite the
insistence of the car park owner that they charge the owner of
the vehicle (who had by this time been identified because of the
vehicle’s registration number).
The owner of the car
was eventually traced after two months out of the country.
He had left his car
with a relative who decided to also lend the car to friend.
This friend then
took mpango wa kando shopping.
The mpango had to
attend to some other activity so the fellow dropped the mpango
to the activity and agreed that they would meet later in the
She fell seriously
ill and had to be hospitalised and they guy who took her
shopping went to attend to her and then run out of time and had
to take the car back as he was to be picked by his spouse at an
earlier agreed place.
He decided to take
the car back to where he had picked it and leave it for the
owner and in the panic forgot about disposing of the shopping.
He realised that he
had left the shopping in the boot much later and when he sneaked
round to assess what he could do to the shopping he was faced
with a stench that would have given him away had he tried to
clean out the vehicle.
He went away to work
out a course of action and it was in this period that the
regular user of the car park then identified the issue and the
cops came in.
As Kachumbari says,
parkings have many goings on!
MOST RECENT ARTICLES
FROM TETI KAMUGUNDA
Where To Park Cattle, Horses, Donkeys,
Yaks, Llamas, And So Forth ...
Most Drivers Treat Matatus With Caution
And Daring Matatu Drivers Love This!
Even Seemingly Difficult
Interventions Can Often Reap Welcome Results
Agencies Who Manage Disaster Need To Seriously
Review Both Operations
Motorists Must Face Up To Dangers Of Submerged
Flooding: The Drainage Is Clogged -
Most Have Not Been Cleaned For Years!
Creative Painters Have Turned Kenya
Vehicle Art Into A Sophisticated Industry
Most Of The Coastal Tribe Of Matatu Is
Of The 14 Seater Body Type
Matatu Apps. No Longer Act As Exhaust
SACCOs were seen as a first step in
getting sanity back
In Western: Matatus
Driven Mainly By Function
Just Focussing On
Enforcing Existing Laws For Six Months - Major Change?
My Adventure In A
Busia Matatu On its
Way To ‘Kisumu International’ Airport!
Some One Hundred
Plus Officers Taking Bribes Were ‘Sacked’
Harambee Is Always About Raising Money
Visitors Marvel At
The Cleanliness Of Kigali City and even over Rwanda
Police Appear To
Recognise Motoring Novices Breaking The Law!
Kenyan Traffic Bribes:
System Should Begin To Operate Smoothly
Road accidents cost us three hundred billion Kenyan
Authorities Should All Jump In To Solve Driving Woes In This
Drivers Who Fail To Remove Road Rubbish Once Vehicle Is
Examination Methods Now Used To Teach Driving Needs an
Most Sane Drivers Fear Every Time A PSV Appears Near Their
Attempt To Level Playing Field During Political Campaigns
Kenya Bus Service Went Bust Due Onslaught Of The Matatu