Con men, robbers and fraudsters are ever mutating. They keep changing their style, tactics and methods. They are always ahead of the rest of us. When you think that you have mastered their style and can beat them at their game, they change tact and find new ways of conning and robbing unsuspecting Kenyans.
Some masquerade as accident or robbery victims in need of help. You don’t even know who is genuinely in need of assistance or who is a robber masquerading as a victim, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting good Samaritans.
It was a hot afternoon, about 2 pm. I was driving my not so state of the art, automobile along Ngong road. It was one of those days you feel carefree, not giving a hoot about work. I was singing along to a gospel tune from my music system and generally feeling good, without a care in the world.
I saw a silhouette from far. At first I didn’t make out exactly what it was. As I approached, it became clearer and I could see a human being lying by the side of the road. A closer look revealed the frame of a pregnant woman. She was writhing in pain, clutching at her tummy, as if to protect the baby from harm. She was lying in a pool of blood, her leso and dress soaked in it. She cut a sorry picture and could melt even the hardest of hearts. I pulled up beside her and, with the help of a few onlookers I bundled her into my car and sped off to the nearest hospital.
As I drove there was only one thing in my mind: to save a soul, no! two souls, mother and baby! I was engrossed in my magnanimous thoughts and did not feel the cold barrel of a gun pointed at my neck. A cold, hard voice snapped, ‘drive into the next alley on your right. This gun is loaded and I won’t hesitate to empty its contents into your skull. You play along and everybody goes home in one piece.’
The threat in her voice was unmistakable. It sent a cold shiver down my spine. I turned to look at her and she shoved the gun harder against my neck. In that split second, I saw her face. She was young, twenty to twenty three. She wore a dead pan expression, impenetrable! She leaned over to my left and barked, ‘keep driving’. At that moment many thoughts were coursing through my mind, ‘ what if I grab the gun and turn tables on her?’ My mind lingered for a moment on that thought, but quickly banished. Her finger was on the trigger, gun cocked. It required that I move with the speed of lightning to disarm her. I couldn’t trust my reflexes. I thought about my loved ones and decided to play along.
I mustered some courage and asked her what she wanted, to which she retorted, ‘Keep driving.’ I prodded her, ‘Why are you paying good with evil?’ She struck suddenly with the boot of her gun, sending me sprawling on the steering wheel, almost losing control of the vehicle. It then occurred to me that she was serious!
I decided to play along, to save my life. She ordered me to hand over my bag and phone. She emptied the contents of the bag into the seat and quickly stuffed all the valuables into hers, including money and some jewelry. She asked for my mpesa pin and transferred all the money. Satisfied with her loot, she hit me hard and I passed out.
I woke up in a hospital bed, staring blankly at the roof, trying to recall the ordeal.