Kenya: How Criminal Gangs Terrorised Kasarani Residents During Days of Violent Protests

16 January 2020

Criminal gangs took advantage of the protests that rocked Kasarani area since the beginning of the week to terrorise and rob residents, Nairobi News has established.

Several residents on Thursday raised concerns over how the gangs robbed innocent members of the public of their mobile phones and other valuables.

According to Mr Duke Ooga, Sunton area was the worst hit as thugs spread terror while robbing victims in broad daylight.

"I have watched people lose their phones to the gangs from the balcony of my house. They are stopping everyone and robbing them of phones," he said.

Another resident, Janet Kamau, says she almost fell victim to the thugs when she went to pick up her daughter from school.

She says she was forced to seek refuge at her sister's place in Kahawa Wendani for her safety and that of her daughter.

"After picking up my daughter accessing our home became hard. Police were chasing after people while the thugs were targeting civilians. I had no option but to go to my sister's place," she said.

Motorists also complained about goons who were demanding for handouts before allowing vehicles to pass various sections where they had erected roadblocks.

ROADBLOCKS

James Ouma, was on Thursday morning heading to work in his personal car when he was stopped by a gang.

"They had erected roadblocks and I had to part with some cash before they could allow me to pass," he said.

The situation has somehow cooled down after Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja announced that he has agreed with the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) to have contractor begin repairing the dilapidated Kasarani-Mwiki Road.

Sakaja made the announcement on Thursday afternoon after meeting Kura officials and Matatu Owners Association bosses.

The meeting was also attended by top security officers from the DCI.

After the meeting, matatu operators, who initially instigated the protests, agreed to resume their services immediately.

At the same time, Kasarani Sub-County Police Commander (SCPC) Muthuri Mwongera has confirmed that one person died on Wednesday during the protests.

Mwongera also disclosed that five police officers were injured with three in critical condition.

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