THE DEEP DIVE 25TH EDITION
Looking back at the Kanjo Kingdom Series. Have things changed?
In our last newsletter, we asked you what you don't like about how corruption is covered in Kenya. Over the years, we have investigated and reported on different corruption scandals. One main thing came up. No Follow Ups. Your comments made us re-think what we will be doing after investigating and exposing.
With your help, we intend to be bringing up past corruption stories that we have covered, following up and seeing if there was change or any positive impact/outlook after the story was run.
Today we start with Kanjo Kingdom, an in-depth investigation into an extortion ring ran by officers from Nairobi City County's notorious Inspectorate department we published six years ago.
If you have ever walked the streets of Nairobi, then you must have seen them; often bend above their wares, moving things this way and that or trying to haggle over a price of second-hand jeans with some rush-hour customers. Informal traders make up 75% of Kenya's workforce and are ubiquitous in Nairobi, especially in the downtown Ngara area. However, for years they have been victims of extortion and violence as different administrations at Nairobi City County's halls of power grapple with what to do with them. The violence got worse between the years of 2013 and 2016, so much so that deaths were being reported every now and again at the Kiambu level 5 county hospital where many of the injured were taken. The perpetrators were none other than City inspectorate officers, more widely known as "Kanjo".
In 2016, Africa Uncensored chose to pursue those behind the extortion, bribery and violence. So, how did we do it?
We teamed up with a number of "citizen journalists" who, fed up with the corruption and violence they witnessed every day, began secretly recording the activities of these inspectorate officers. Soon, we noticed a pattern; a specific set of officers operating in the Ngara area were the main culprits - a motley crew of men and women led by one man, known on the streets as "Wasi Wasi".
The journalists began recording incidents where Wasi Wasi and his crew were openly extorting hawkers and shop owners in Ngara. This took nearly a year. We then went through the footage, listening for key statements that could give us more insights about who else was involved. One thing we did notice was that the gang frequented a specific M-pesa shop in downtown Nairobi. This, we felt, was a major lead that would add onto the many incidents of violence and bribery we saw them perpetrate.
At the end of the day, the motivation for this extortion was money. We wanted to find out how much money was being made through each of the officers phone numbers. With the help of then Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko, we managed to get a hold of the M-pesa records of each of the people we were investigating, and what we found was staggering. Tens of millions of shillings transacted every month, many times higher than what they my have earned as salaries!
Putting the story together took quite a bit of time. Initially, we thought that we'd have the story ready for our launch day (we began publishing at Africa Uncensored on the 18th February 2016), but the sheer amount of footage to go through, verification of what we had seen and interviews with higher ups in the Evans Kidero administration took us until mid-March to complete. The first episode in the series ran on the 4th of April, 2016; and the rest, as they say, is history!
Here’s your take on the Kanjo Kingdom Series over the years.
Ian Nj - Top class investigation. Have things changed in 2021? I feel for my brothers and sisters who have to go through this to make a living for themselves and there families just breaks my heart... what can we do as a nation?
Marcus Tha Maestro - John please continue exposing these pieces of skum I am taking the pictures and faces and will do wat needs to be done to put a complete end to this impunity and corruption!
cashOut Kings - Currently in 2018, the situation is even worse. Over 100,000hawkers in cbd. You can’t begin to imagine when a seller is arrested and her wares burnt, what the families back home go through that day. We need something that works out. Most of the hawkers from Eastleigh migrated to cbd when the malls had them removed
Felix langat - Much power should be given to the hawker, government should help them improve their facilities of trade and finally, jail should be expanded for the police. That will shake them off !
Shem Nero - If you want to change your country then start by sharing this clip widely and then change our mentality that we are helpless to do anything. Change starts from somewhere however small or else even you who is not a hawker will be a victim someday!
Ignatius Andrew - This is a very good piece. But why do the people in highest leadership seem to never know what is going on in their companies or organizations rather, could they just be playing nice to the cameras?. Action should be taken and not word of mouth only.
Laban Obiero - Great job, Mr.Namu. Allow me to appreciate the hours you put in, the risk involved, the painstaking trailing that goes into this sort of work. Hopefully it will help in restoring sanity to City-Hall.
Felix Alvin - This is a very informative documentary. Officers caught extorting money from the poor traders should face the law. Such a pity that poor Kenyans lose their money to corrupt officers.
Geofry Mutua - A Kingdom of beasts!!!!kudos to media for such highlights, its a eye opener. Hope the affected and the mandated institutions will act with swift to lawfully deal with this rogues.
Mwadime Daniel - Wow I liked it n is very interesting although sad to see how our sisters/brothers or rather our parents looking for daily bread hence cruelty of kanjooz bulling them n even killing innocent people
Jo Shammah - The sad reality is that this same people being extorted today will be fighting, quite literally, each other during election time. If only we stood up for what is justice and by so doing, elect leaders not necessary people who want to protect their own interests.
How impactful was the Kanjo Kingdom? Have things changed? Tell us in the comments section!
The Green Waste Water Rehab.
15 percent of Kenyans rely on unimproved water sources while 41 percent lack access to basic sanitation solutions. This is especially true for arid and semi-arid areas where water scarcity continues to be challenge. The Green Waste Water Rehab is another example of solutions journalism, focusing on Omiflo Solutions, a waste water treatment company based in Nairobi. Their system is a completely green way to recycle waste water, through a scientific process called phytoremediation. One of their systems at Samburu Girls Foundation might be able to provide relief for Loosuk community in Samburu County.
Here’s a snippet of The Green Waste Water Rehab. The full video will premier tomorrow at 8PM. Don’t miss out!
This Thursday, we invite you to Join Our Newsroom Twitter Space at 7PM. We will be discussing Climate Change and Politics.
One last thing. If you like the work that we do and would like to support it, you can now become an Africa Uncensored Patreon! Click on this link, choose the amount you'd like to contribute and you're all set.