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Gazzillions - There Was Probably Some One
Hundred Plus Million Shillings Involved Here

Coastweek -- Last week I considered the evolution of parking and the regulations that govern parking, writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.

 It involved the consideration of parking from the days of animals and horse drawn carriages to the modern forms of transport.

We will continue this week on incidents in car parks that came to Kachumbari’s attention in recent weeks.

The first incident happened at around four a.m. in the morning in the car park of a reputable hotel somewhere in our capital city – Nairobi.

One of Kachumbari’s friends who is an avid gym member is one of the regular early gym goers.

She normally arrives in the gym at around the same hour of the morning and there are a few others who arrive around that time as well.

On this specific day, she arrived shortly after four thirty in the morning and found two high end cars – one a Range Rover and the other a Porsche – parked with the boots backed to the fence and the rear doors were both open.

There were several people standing at the back end of the vehicles engaged in conversation but there was also some activity happening at the back end of the vehicles.

The young lady also parked facing out wards with the boot also hugging the fence.

She was driving a saloon car.

She went to collect her gym bag from the boot and glanced across to the two high end cars and saw four people busy talking and sorting out hard cash from two sacks that were open.

There were an additional three sacks in the back of the cars.

From the activity, it appeared that the people in the car park were packing loose money from a sack in one car and transferring them into large envelopes that appeared to be containing about one million shillings per envelope.

These were being stuffed into sacks in the boot of the second car.

From a quick estimate, there was probably some one hundred plus million shillings involved.

What struck the lady was the impunity of the people.

Here they were in the middle of a car park brazenly handling a lot of money in cash and they were only slightly shielded from the gaze of the security personnel that were guarding the car park – suggesting that they had been paid to look the other way.

It would also suggest that it was a regular activity in that particular location.

The only conclusion, considering the timing when this activity was taking place, was that it must have been linked to some of the scandals that were hogging the headlines at that time especially as there were a large number of people that were due to appear in court that day for a decision as to whether they would be granted bail or remanded in custody.

The way the money was being packaged suggested a team that was probably scheduled to bankroll the bail process for the people involved in the scandal at that time.

Kachumbari did some calculations a few days after the suspects in the scandal had been released on bail – which was paid in cash – and found that the estimated amount from the car park incident happened to be in the ball park of the total amount paid.

Another car park incident that was brought to my attention occurred in one of the many car parks that we find adjacent to or as part of the many developments in and around the various towns and cities in the country.

One of the regular users of the car parks who had an annual card one day started to notice a funny smell in the car park.

He could not quite describe it at first but he related the smell to a garbage dump that had grown adjacent to the car park as a result of the various office blocks and residential apartments in the area that were all using the car park.

After a few days, the smell was so strong that he decided to walk through the car park to check what was happening.

After about half an hour he zeroed in on a car that was parked at a remote part of eth car park.

The smell was emanating from the car and was so strong that it overpowered that one from the illegal garbage tip adjacent to the car park.

He reported to the owner of the car park – suspecting that there may have been foul play.

The car park owner decided to call in the cops and they came in full gear with dogs, bomb experts and all sorts of technical supporting staff.

This was because there were some important people staying in the neighbourhood and they did not want to create any headlines from the findings.

After many hours spent with dogs sniffing the car and all sorts of probes being used, the police concluded that there was no explosive in the car and decided to go physical and open the car.

What they found causing the foul smell was hidden in the boot of the car.

It was full of vegetables and fruit that had started rotting and was infested with maggots and flies.

The boot happened to be so well constructed that there was nothing dripping on to the floor of the parking area.

The boot was a small container of liquid goo.

The cops got hold of an exhauster vehicle and brought it to the car park and it sucked all the liquid stuff in the boot and they then sat about cleaning and de-odourising the boot.

It took half a day to complete the job and they left the car there despite the insistence of the car park owner that they charge the owner of the vehicle (who had by this time been identified because of the vehicle’s registration number).

The owner of the car was eventually traced after two months out of the country.

He had left his car with a relative who decided to also lend the car to friend.

This friend then took mpango wa kando shopping.

The mpango had to attend to some other activity so the fellow dropped the mpango to the activity and agreed that they would meet later in the day.

She fell seriously ill and had to be hospitalised and they guy who took her shopping went to attend to her and then run out of time and had to take the car back as he was to be picked by his spouse at an earlier agreed place.

He decided to take the car back to where he had picked it and leave it for the owner and in the panic forgot about disposing of the shopping.

He realised that he had left the shopping in the boot much later and when he sneaked round to assess what he could do to the shopping he was faced with a stench that would have given him away had he tried to clean out the vehicle.

He went away to work out a course of action and it was in this period that the regular user of the car park then identified the issue and the cops came in.

As Kachumbari says, parkings have many goings on!




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Remember: you read it first at !

  This year’s rally will be
flagged off at Sarova
Whitesands on November
23rd and finish at the same
venue on December 1st.


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