A Kenya Ports Authority employee is the latest victim of increased killings by criminal gangs in Kisauni with locals now vowing to form vigilante groups to protect themselves.
The man was killed at a wines and spirits shop in Bamburi by a new dreaded gang that has killed 15 people in the last two weeks.
The killing occurred despite police assurance of constant patrols and stern warning to the criminals.
The residents who spoke during a security Baraza at Kadzonzo grounds in Junda Wednesday said they will stay awake at night to guard their homes which are being targeted by the attackers.
“We have decided to guard our areas but we need the police to give us backup with swift response. We want the people funding these gangs arrested. We are so much aware that we have traitors among us who leak intelligence and information to the criminals,” said a resident who did not wish to be identified fear of retaliatory attack by the gang.
The residents also want security beefed up in the area following a “curfew” proclaimed by the gang that has kept on terrorizing them.
The residents are forced to get to their houses once the sun sets and have to close their businesses for fear of attacks by the criminals who are reportedly dressed in police uniform.
Some of the crime hotspots identified by police include Matingasi, Kadzonzo, Kadzandani, Kidagaya, Junda, Konkodia, New Hope and Kajiweni.
Matingasi village elder Ronald Siria said the youth are being misused by influential people and want police to apprehend the people sponsoring criminal gangs in Kisauni.
“Where do these youths get money to hire a bodabodas, buy a machetes and come all the way just to spill innocent blood? Their aim is just to kill. Why is this so? They come kill and go.” Mzee Siria said.
Mr Said Wali, a bodaboda rider, said the gang members wear what looks like police uniform and thus one cannot tell the difference between them and police officers.
He called on the police to increase security and patrols as the public is not able to fight with the armed gang.
Mr Wali said there is disconnect as a result of mistrust between the police and the public.
The residents of Kadongo, Mtopanga, Kajiweni, Kachororoni, Bondeni, Matingasi, and Junda accused police of harassing them whenever a crime is committed as they carry out random swoops that result in the arrest of innocent people.
Mtopanga MCA Lucy Chireri Chizi condemned the attacks and called for a speedy arrest of the perpetrators.
Ms Chizi urged the residents to share information with the security agencies to ensure that the criminals are apprehended.
She asked parents to take charge of their children, be accountable to the society and report to the police in case they are unable to deal with them.
“Businesses have collapsed in our area as a result of the gang as the residents run for their safety,” Ms Chizi said.
Mombasa County Police Commander Johnston Ipara assured residents that there will be an additional number of police officers in the area.
“We will have officers in plain clothes and they will work in the residences to curb crime. We will also have the uniformed officers to escort residents home in case they are late,” Mr Ipara told the residents.
PROTECT LIFE, PROPERTY
He said that their duty is to protect life and property and that there is need to cultivate a healthy relationship between police and the public in the fight against crime.
“Let us stop finger pointing and instead foster a good relationship between us. Let us play a role in putting this to an end,” he said.
The Police boss warned that the police will have “no discussion with anyone found walking with a machete”.
“We are done talking with criminals and what is left is to show you the way by law,” Mr Ipara warned.
Mombasa County Commissioner Evans Achoki said more police officers will be deployed to Kisauni to fight crime.
He said the government will deal ruthlessly with anyone breaking the law and that a special unit will be formed to deal with drugs and criminals.
“I will not come back here as Achoki and talk about the same issue of security. Let the police do their work. We are done talking,” he said.