Rising Insecurity in Kibera

There has been reports and cases of increased insecurity in different parts of Kibera over the resent times. This has led to a number of deaths either by mob justices, police killings and even some caused by the gangster’s attacks that have seen a number of demonstrations being staged at different intervals by the residence in the quest for justice and against the local administration that has been accused for laxity. One of such cases is when two carjackers of a gang ambushed a bus along the Ngong road off Kibera drive and drove it inside the slums and as they tried to robe the passengers at gun point were shot dead by police who were in civilian and the other members of the gang managed to escape around Makina area where the Kibera law courts is situated. That incident did not provoke or even agitate the residents of Kibera for the bus belonged to a different residential rout only to be dumped in Kibera and by Kibera gangsters. Residents here are of the notion that: “it’s better if by any chance you are born a gangster in Kibera that you should not steal or terrorize the same residents who are just as hustlers as you are”.

On 11th September 2012 a Matatu driver was found dead along the Kibera drive next to Karanja road and it was suspected that robbers caused his death the previous night while attempting to steal from him. This incident aggravated too much anger and especially to the Nubian community where the driver belonged to. They responded by burning of tires and distracted the movement of vehicle along the busy drive in protest, and also accused the police for having taken too long to come to the site. Police arrived hours later and managed to cool the protesters down by promising to probe into the matter and taking the necessary actions.

A few days’ later four armed robbers were killed along the Joseph Kangethe road off Kibera drive after what was believed to be a carjacking mission while two of them managed to escape towards the joseph kangethe Woodley grounds. The killings were undertaken by police who were patrolling the area on a police patrol car who on suspicion pursued the passenger bus. That incident did not click into the minds of the residents of Kibera for reasons best known to the residents and that is the fact that the bus belonged to a different route and the police were also in pursuit and did their job ‘perfectly well’.

Bombolulu Incidents

Not a while ago, there was an incident in Kianda village where armed gangsters as early as eight in the evening a few meters away from the busy Bombolulu area robbed the residents anything worth stealing from including money, mobile phones, not to mention food stuff from the neighboring shops. “They were armed with an AK-47 and they forced everyone to lie down and were pointing the gun at us” recalls a victim who never wanted to be identified. “They threatened to shoot anyone who defiled their orders”. When the Wananchi of Kibera received the information they organized a massive crackdown on 14th October 2012 on a Sunday morning that saw two suspected crooks mobjusticed and lynched to death. During the incident police efforts to save the suspects were futile and it was dreadful the way the police were numb with fear and left to witness the whole scenario helplessly. I also found out that the two were high school students in a local secondary school. Before being murdered they were forced to mention their crew thug members and a list was developed and the angry youths were left to hunt the remaining gang members.

On 17th October 2012 at 10pm armed gangsters stormed the area close to Bombolulu again but that time fired a bullet that got an ear of one of the residents who was in a crowd that had manage catch one of the suspects who thereafter escaped together with the rest of the suspects. This time the gangsters were targeting retail shops and a close friend of mine was not speared either. He say that on that evening as he was on his way home he noticed a group of young men stealing from a shop but he acted as if nothing was peculiar as it should be when one encounters such a criminal activity going on and especially if you think that you can identify the criminals by names for your own security. So as he was pretending and kept on with his business he noticed some of the boys coming towards him and to his surprise they ordered him to face the opposite direction forcing his face down the floor and asked him to hand over his handset, and he never defiled their order. They then disappeared leaving the area at a standstill after paralyzing the businesses around the village and every shop closed for the entire evening in trepidation. There was speculation that the thugs were on a revenge mission after two of their gang members were lynched to death four days ago. The following day the youths ganged up and forced all the business closed and obliged everyone to join in a demonstration against the rising insecurity and of illegal arms. The demonstrations were held along the Kibera Drive and the rowdy youth barricaded the road with burning tires and were sending warnings to any person(s) that might have been associated with robbery. They latter marched to the District Commissioners Offices at (DC) in Kibera to air their grievances to the local authorities. The demonstrations and the protesters were also reported in the news, on a national TV station that entire evening.

On the 23rd 0f October a police raid was done at the Bombolulu area where three suspected robbers were arrested at around 3pm. The two, among the three were caught at an ambush close to a river an area suspected to be a gangsters den. During the arrest they were tortured and forced to produce any illegal arms they may have had and they directed the police into a bush towards the Ngong forest but it is not clear whether they surrendered any arms or not. They were later taken away for further interrogations. This was seen as a step the administration was taking to act upon the latest moves by the residents to demonstrate on the risen state of insecurity.

Leathal Cop

This action by the law enforcers was received with exhilaration by the residents but for how long will the police stick to their mandate of securing the people? After the 2007/2008 post-election violence Kibera become a no go zone after the cases of insecurity had risen to their greatest heights in the history of kibera. The situation brought fear and resentments amidst the residents of Kibera until the administration responded by applying an active measure and a very skilled and feared police man was deployed at the administration police post at the Olympic chiefs camp in Kibera. He was nicknamed ‘stupid’ and that was because he had formed a habit to use that term. He was also nicknamed ‘Mkisi’ a Kenyan community tribe where he was believed to have come from. He was believed to give warnings to bandits and even provided fair for transport to suspected thugs so as to relocate to their respective rural areas and only allowed them back after they had fully changed to better people. The bandits who took him for granted and dogged his instructions he would still bump into them and spray them bullets in cold blood. He was perceived a man of his words who was never intimidated and had the ability to identify the real crooks. There were rumors that he could tame the criminals in different ways at times dressed like a woman and at times in the Maasai attire that enabled him to identify the criminals effectively. Rumor had it that he was using black magic, most of the times he would stroll into the densely populated slum alone and no one could harm him. During the time gun shots were almost becoming a normal thing especially during the nights around Bombolulu and so many young suspects lost their lives. At that time the levels of insecurity in the slum declined drastically. It was not until he was transferred after there were claims that he was taking the lives of innocent young voters a cry that reached the area Member of Parliament ears.

Despite the fact that so many young suspects lost their lives there has been an increased cases of insecurity two years from the time ‘stupid’ was transferred and more rampant over the resent times. Now that we have a new constitution should we still expect to acknowledge the kind of killings that took place during that past error that almost restored Kibera from criminal gangs? Or when will we be in a position to experience a more diplomatic way by the authority to handle criminals especially now that they have been triggered by protests and demonstrations? How about the rising insecurity and the resident’s mob injustices?

Something needs to be done!!!

By, Joe KNN.

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