Rahab Kung’u is a police officer in Loitokitok, Kajiado County, playing her brothers’ keeper role to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
The officer is not financially endowed, but she chose to use part of her salary to ensure the less fortunate people in the society remain safe at this time of coronavirus pandemic.
So far, she has supplied thousands of free facial masks to the residents of Loitokitok town and its environs to those who cannot afford their cost.
She believes the government has too much on her hand to handle, and those able in the society can chip in whatever little support they can afford.
In her new course of calling to help the vulnerable, Kung’u discovers that because of economic meltdown in the country, some of her fellow police officers cannot also afford to buy facial masks that are now selling at Sh100 in Loitokitok.
PC Kung’u, 34, says she enlisted in the force in 2008 as an administration police officer and has since served in Loitokitok town for the last 5 years. Her big heart was discovered 3 days ago.
Nobody knew who Kung’u was other than being seen every morning walking to Loitokitok police station from her Isinet home near Kimana town.
On April 14, while on patrol in Loitokitok town, Kung’u spotted three women being manhandled by council askaris.
The three women had walked from their homes to do manual jobs of downloading bags of vegetables for pay at the Loitokitok wholesale and retail market where they would earn a livid that would put a meal on their tables.
They were not allowed in the market simply because they had no nose masks as dictated by the new Ministry of Health rules.
The county government askaris were enforcing the laws in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19.
The three women had no money for buying the required nose masks and therefore, they had no choice but to return to their homes empty-handed – without food.
Meanwhile, Police Constable Kung’u was on her beat that morning and saw all that happened. She moved closer to the women in a bid to understand why they were being chased away.
“I walked to them, and what they told me touched my heart. In the process of talking to them, one of them identified me, and used the occasion to seek my assistance,” said PC Kung’u.
The woman who identified Kung’u asked for Sh300 to buy the masks. That was the only money she had on her Mpesa account. She used the same to buy masks for the women.
“I have been happily married and living with my two lovely children at our Isinet home, until that day. As we had supper that evening, the images of askaris chasing away the women kept recurring in my mind,” said Kung’u.
The officer said she was happy that she had assisted the three women to access the market and probably feed their families that day.
“As I slept, that night, I thought of the many others who slept without food that day because they are poor. I thought of the bodaboda people who could not operate because they have no masks,” said Kung’u.
On April 15, PC Kung’u, after discussing the matter with her husband decided to use some of their savings in assisting the less fortunate members in the society.
She went to a garment shop in Loitokitok town and bought clothing materials that she took to her tailor and produced hundreds of masks.
By the end of day on April 15, Kung’u had distributed 500 masks to bodaboda operators and women in Loitokitok market for free.
“I want others out there to be their brothers’ keeper too. We cannot all wait for the government to assist us. Whatever little you have can be of great help to others out there,” said PC Kung’u.
Kung’u, who also doubles up as police chaplain, says she grew up in a Christian family. Most of her duties involve praying and counselling.
Some of her fellow officers we talked to said Kung’u have always been their inspiration in the police force because of her constant prayers.
“My colleague sees no big problem. Even at times of hardship, she would walk to your desk at our work station and request to pray for us. As police officers, we undergo a lot of stresses,” said Peter Musau (not his real name).
Musau says sometimes they are frustrated by their seniors through many ways such as being denied offs, time to be with their loved ones and even to attend to their loved ones while in need.
Esther Nashipae, a vegetable vendor at the Loitokitok town market, is one of the women among the three who were chased away by council askaris, and she talks big of Kung’u.
“She is God-given to us traders in this town. I have known her for the last three years as a woman of action. Whenever you have a problem and take it to her, she will do all that is possible to assist,” Nashipae said.
She goes on; “She helps people without asking questions if you present her a genuine problem. She has one time given me Sh100 to take my child to Loitokitok sub-county hospital after I approached her.”