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GOSSIP BIRD: Why 'sojas' allow theft and vandalism with Thika CBD

Our Gossip Bird today drags us into the sorry plight of security guards, yaani masoja or who we popularly call watchmen.

Our bird tells us that 99% of the vices that happen within Thika CBD eg vandalism, thefts and crimes etc, happen in full the glare of hawa masoja but who are usually silenced by the perpetrators via “kangumi ya tumbo” so that they “look elsewhere” as the vice takes place.

The catch here is…… The perpetrators know very well that “soja ako na njaa” and will take anything …. I mean anything, even mbao (20/-) to just keep a blind eye as they do their thing. 

This explains why you find a manhole or a streetlight that is right in front of where a guard is sitting being vandalised at night while the soja will claim that they never saw anything.

The thing is…. These guards are paid peanuts. Majority of them are paid between Sh. 5,000 to Sh. 8,000 per month. Yes…. Don’t be deceived by the uniforms. Hawa watu wanakulanga 5K bana, which explains why majority of these guards are wazees of between 60 and 70 years old.

These guards are not unionisable and not in any formal contract, thus simply survive by the grace of God. They are employed casually via oral agreements. 

The employer in  most cases is a “one-man guitar”… He is the CEO, the secretary, the sweeper, the finance officer and everything in his company, which in most cases is not even registered. 

Most of these companies don’t even have any physical offices. Their guards are paid in cash at their workstations or receive their salaries via M-PESA. This salary is not even guaranteed and in case one crosses lines with their bosses, they get fired via the phone and may not even get their due…. Kwani utaduu?

These sojas survive through tips from drunks they guide into their cars at night, strangers asking for directions, commercial sex workers who tip them to hide a “loot” from a victim, tips to allow motorists to park in front of their shops/places of work or even vandals who vandalise public amenities within town.

Some will even set up people to be robbed by petty thugs so as to get some of the loot. In case you accidentally drop money in the full glare of these guards, hiyo story wanakanyagia na kuchukua hiyo pesa as they joke it over ati “it got Wacu in the shamba”.

Our Gossip Bird only prays that one day, the God of the oppressed will shine in their way. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations (Isaiah 61:11)


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