City Council askaris in Kisumu County were, on Wednesday, filmed assaulting a car wash cleaner whom they accused of operating in an undesignated area.
The cleaner, identified as Paul by his acquaintances in Kisumu CBD, was dragged to the ground after Kanjos raided his business.
In an effort to apprehend him, three plain cloth askaris and one in uniform jumped on the car wash cleaner, with some attempting to pin him to the ground as others pulled his clothes apart.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, the Kisumu City manager, Abala Wanga, accused Paul of setting up his business in the backstreet area, causing mayhem and disorder.
“This is the third raid, and he had been given a warning to leave because he is not allowed to establish a car wash in the place.,” Wanga defended the askaris.
He further argued that the car cleaner was notorious for defying county notices and also accused him of threatening officers.
In the video seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the askaris declined to release Paul from their grasp and clutched his legs and hands as he struggled for freedom.
The back and forth saw the suspect’s clothes torn into pieces, forcing passers-by and other traders to intervene.
The crowd around was heard castigating the officers for harassing and dragging the car cleaner on a visibly concrete floor and tattering his clothes.
On noticing that the crowd was swelling up, the kanjos scampered for safety in fear for their lives.
“‘What you are doing is not good. You can not destroy his clothes even if you are a police officer. That is not right,” one trader was heard complaining.
However, the askaris later returned and arrested Paul and one other person accused of threatening the lives of the askaris, according to Kisumu City manager, Abala Wanga.
The duo was taken into custody pending their transfer to a police station, where charges will be pressed.
A car being cleaned in a carwash by an attendant using water spray
Wanga, who was irked by the conduct of the traders, reiterated that the operation of car wash businesses around the backstreet was outlawed by the county, and anyone operating illegally would be arrested.
”He has to obey the law. He tried to fight officers, and he is in police custody awaiting arraignment,” he added.
In November 2022, the City Manager announced a ban on car-washing businesses in the Kisumu City CBD and moved the cleaners to two designated areas in Kondele and Moi Stadium.
The county had earlier banned car washing in Lake Victoria ten years ago, citing pollution of the water body.