A past confrontation between police and civilians. [PHOTO/nation.co.ke]
Traffic in Nairobi was paralysed by an early morning police operation that sparked protests in sections of the city Wednesday morning.
The 7am operation conducted at the Machakos Country Bus Station and Muthurwa Market made the ever-busy Jogoo Road and Landhies Road impassable.
Matatu and boda boda operators at Country Bus got into a bitter confrontation with police officers after the cops reportedly made arbitrary arrests of touts and demanded they pay a fine.
“The police just came and started arresting touts and even passengers who were stranded. They, however, did not make it clear why they were making the arrests and this led to a scuffle,” said a witness quoted by the Standard.
According to the witness, the police demanded that each one of those arrested pays a Sh1,000 fine.
But in retaliation, the touts and boda boda operators hurled stones at the police and lit fires on the road, bringing traffic to a standstill.
“Police should not demand bribes. Where are we expected to get Sh1,000 at the crack of dawn even before business picks up?” another asked.
Normal operations resumed by mid-morning.