Terror strikes Keumbu residents in wave of robberies

Wednesday May 13 2020
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Traders at Keumbu Market in Kisii County. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RUTH MBULA
By WYCLIFFE NYABERI

A gang is on the loose in Keumbu, Kisii violently robbing, raping and killing people.

The daring gang engages police in dramatic shootouts when they are confronted by law enforcers.

In the recent past, the gang has committed atrocities that left residents of the sleepy Keumbu Sub-County in shock and fear.

During a recent attack, the gang raped a woman and her daughter as her husband watched.

They put a gun on the man's head and ordered him to watch the heinous act.

The gang later stole household goods and escaped using the man’s vehicle which was found abandoned in an open field.

Residents say the gang comprises of young men and usually splits into several groups when they go out for criminal escapades.

Some of the gang members wear police uniforms when they attack.

Police say a prison officer, who is alleged to be the gang’s ringleader, was arrested.

Kisii police boss Jebel Munene say the man was arrested in Gesonso.

The suspect was on Sunday evening rescued by police officers from a mob that wanted to lynch him in Motonto.

He was clad in his official uniform when the residents descended on him. The angry mob claimed the officer wears his uniform to disguise himself when carrying out criminal activities in the area.

Gesonso residents claimed criminals in police uniforms have been terrorising them for a while now.

Mr Stanley King’ara, a resident, said the gang usually targets Kenyans who come from abroad and attack immediately they arrive home.

“They appear to have information gatherers in the villages. They have details of their targets and know when they are returning home,” said Mr King’ara a resident, whose brother was attacked in Riondong'a village last week.

During the attack the gang stole property of unknown value and ordered the family’s driver to take them to an unknown destination.

Police were alerted and gave chase. The attackers got off from the vehicle and escaped on foot.

Residents say the newly opened Nyaturubo Police Post has not been of much help.

The few officers at the police post have no vehicles and it is difficult for them to pursue criminals.

“Officers in Keumbu are trying and we congratulate them for that, but they need to be assisted by those in police posts when responding to crime alerts” said Mr King’ara.

At Nyabisabo Market, gunmen attacked shopkeepers and stole property of unknown value. A motorbike, television sets, computers, mobile phones accessories and other valuables were stolen from one of the shops at the market.

Traders have protested the incident and threatened to take the law into their hands if nothing is done.