NAIROBI, Kenya October 25 – It is not very odd to be mistaken for someone else by a random stranger, be it in the matatu, on our city streets, in social places or even in church. But to be completely mistaken for Kenya’s Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge must be nice coincidence.
While responding to claims by a Twitter user on his striking resemblance to Rwanda’s Central Bank Governor And Guinea former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, Njoroge narrated the story of his cousin who ended up being released after arrest, with police thinking he is the CBK boss.
Thanks to a striking resemblance to his famous cousin, he was able to walk scot-free after the Officer Commanding Station (OCS) accused junior police officers of arresting the ‘wrong person and quickly ordered them to – Mpeleke sasa kule mlimtoa!” (Take him back where you got him).
Just like that, his short stint as the CBK Governor even saw him get police escort.
“In the end, the officers got another vehicle and were now ordered to take him wherever he wanted to go. And that is what happened—my cousin showed up at his CBD appointment in a police car! He says the officers were very courteous,” CBK Governor recounted.
CBK Governor is not new to such, he has admitted his resemblance to former Prime Minister of Guinea Cellou Dalein Dialo and Rwanda’s CBK Governor John Rwangwomba terming their similarity as one which can allow them to trade places.
He also recounted the episode that led to his cousin’s freeing and termed it as one which has been “dissected a million times at family gathering.
“Everyone agrees that it was a case of mistaken identity. Neither I nor my cousin want to push the matter any further and the rest is weaved in the family’s folklore,” he said.
I was a few months into this job, with stories swirling around about my personal affairs and lifestyle, and much speculation to boot. On this particular day my cousin had some business to conduct in Nairobi’s CBD. He parked his car in the Ngara area and caught a matatu into town.
The mat was full, but he decided to be a “standing passenger” for the short journey. He forgot that the police had recently begun dealing aggressively with “standing passengers” and as fate would have it, they were nabbed a few moments later.
Suffices to say that a group of these offenders formed quickly, and were a sorry sight as they were bundled into a mariamu( a police lorry) , handcuffed in pairs. My cousin did not utter a word of protest and was completely compliant. Others protested loudly, in vain as the police meant business.
The mariamu brought the unhappy lot to a police station (I don’t remember which) where they disembarked untidily in full view of the OCS, who undoubtedly was surveying the catch. Suddenly his eyes fixed on my cousin, for several long seconds, his mind searching for something.
Just as suddenly he shouted at the officers, “Huyu mumemtoa wapi?” (Where did you get him?) and without waiting for an answer he ordered them, “Mpeleke sasa kule mlimtoa!” (Take him back where you got him). My cousin was going scot-free courtesy of OCS, without uttering a word!
There was pandemonium as the other handcuffed men sensed that my cousin had some hidden power and appealed to him, “Please don’t leave us behind, after all we were arrested with you.” My cousin, took all this in stride, walking away casually as if it was all preordained.
In the end, the officers got another vehicle and were now ordered to take him wherever he wanted to go. And that is what happened—my cousin showed up at his CBD appointment in a police car! He says the officers were very courteous.
This incident has been dissected a million times at family gatherings. Everyone agrees that it was a case of mistaken identity. Neither I nor my cousin want to push the matter any further and the rest is weaved in the family’s folklore.