Nyamweya is a journalist currently attached to a leading Kenyan media
I Was Drugged, Robbed in Broad Daylight Through Handshake: Zablon Mbogolis Story
It was on a Saturday when I encountered a misfortune that I don’t want to remember; but I have been compelled to share it for the sake of enlightening others.
My name is Zablon and I am a teacher at Meru Boys High School which is found in Kenya. On this particular day, I was heading towards Kamawe Building, a business center within Meru Town in Kenya which houses a diversity of businesses including cyber cafes, bookshops, fashion shops, phone and computer repairs, and electronic shops among others. I had gone there to seek printing services in a cyber café located in the building.
While passing across Meru Police Sacco, which is adjacent to Meru Central Police Station, I met a medium age looking man with chocolate complexion who greeted me with a gaze from his smiling face in Meru language "Habari yako mwalimu,nuturaga bwega" translated as “how are you teacher, hope you have been well”
How he knew that I was a teacher was beyond my imagination taking into account that I have never met or seen this man.
Looking amused over this encounter, I respondent to him
I have been well, who are you I don't know you neither have I met you before? to which the stranger replied
“Just try and remember my name because I know you very well”
In the middle of this conversation, the stranger then reached out his hand to greet me while also coming close for a hug. He then breathed heavily towards my nose while keeping the handshake tight.
I remember the smell of alcohol got into my nostrils and immediately my hand became weak as I continued to hold them. The whole body became drowsy and my knees became week. I realised lisemwalo liko kama haliko laja , (what has been said may be existing and if not then it is coming).
Realizing that all was set for the worst, I tried all my best to loosen my hand from the stranger who was all this time maintaining a grasp of the hand with unending stories. Upon noticing that something was wrong with his body and mind, I gathered energy and forcefully withdrew my hand from the stranger’s fist.
I tried to be violent towards this man but I could not. All parts of my body including my mouth had become weak.
Eventually, he decided to run to the cyber café using the little energy that had left in him seeking refuge from the attendants and as a way to avoid this strange man. Unfortunately, the cyber café had been closed since there had been a blackout in Meru town from 10am. He made a quick decision for a you turn towards the next shop which sold electronics and where he knew a person there. All this time, the strange man was following him while talking as if they are colleagues who were doing some mission together. However, he felt too weak to move further and the man was still following him urging him to accompany him to a particular location for a “specific mission”.
The guy kept telling me let's go, let's go, I had been left with no energy to move an inch and I could not move any longer. Realizing that I was no longer complying and he could lose out if he didn’t do his mission fast, he reached out to my pockets and picked all the money that I had. He managed to go away with 4000 shillings which I had in my pockets but left me my documents such as ID, NHIF card and ATM. I tried to shout he's a thief but no word came out of me”
I then stayed at that particular station for about 30 minutes and when he regained some energy, he went to a friend’s salon and sat down for about an hour. After regaining some consciousness, then I narrated the story to the friend and those who were around. I then reached to my phone which interestingly had been left intact by the thief and called out my friends who bought me lunch after telling them his ordeal. I then reported the incident to Meru Central Police station.
My advice to readers is to never shake hands with a stranger or anybody who purports to know you.