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How CS FRED MATIANG’I stopped his car in the middle of a thicket in Kiambu to help a stranded motorist.



On Dr. Fred Okeng’o Matiang’i

Talking of Dr Matiang’i, I have known him
for close to two decades.

I first met him through my friend and
colleague Mwenda Njoka who is now spokesman for the Interior ministry.

Dr Matiang’i is a tough man. He pulls no
punches and can argue his case until cows come home.


But he also has a soft, humane side. I once
saw both sides of the man.

We were driving one late Saturday evening
from a place called Runda Mumwe where we’d a common interest.

We were on a stretch of a dusty road in the
middle of two huge coffee thickets near the picnic site, Paradise Lost, off
Kiambu Road.

An old taxi-car had stalled in the middle
of the road and Dr Matiang’i had stopped to help the stranded driver.

That must have been too kind of him. Not
many motorists, including myself, would stop in the middle of coffee
plantations at night to help a stranger when it could turn out to be a trap by

Dr Matiang’i flagged me down and asked whether I had a cable or a rope to
enable us pull the stranded vehicle to the main road.

I didn’t have either. At that point he
turned to the stranded driver and said: “Look here my friend, we can afford to
lose your car but not your life. So we leave the car here and drop you at the
main road from where you can seek assistance.”

The taxi driver was a bit hesitant. At that
point I saw Dr Matiang’i getting ready to grab him by the collar and force him
into one of our vehicles.

Luckily, the driver saw the point before Dr
Matiang’i unleashed his temper on him.

At one time we were in politician John
Keen’s study. I remember telling the elder politician that Dr Matiang’i was my

“No, Kamau, I am not your boss. I am your
partner,” he protested.

The former lecturer at the University of
Nairobi was so impressed by the collection of books in John Keen’s library and
remarked: “You know you can tell the kind of a person from the books they read~

As narrated by Kamau Ngotho (Daily Nation)

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