Mbaruk area in Gilgil, Nakuru County, has for long been a silent region. However, it has recently captured the country’s attention with shocking insecurity incidents.
Located at the boundary of Nakuru Town East and Gilgil sub-counties, the area has been adversely hit by security lapse, leaving residents at the mercy of criminal gangs.
With security agencies from both Gilgil and Nakuru town denying administrative responsibility over the region, criminal gangs have found it a safe haven to carry out their illegal activities.
A robbery that occurred on October 10 at the home of Ms Teresia Wamucii is a clear evidence of how daring criminals have taken captive of the area along the Nakuru – Nairobi highway.
The incident was captured on CCTV cameras.
From the CCTV footage that was accessed by Nation, two robbers were seen taking their time to carry out their operation at the homestead, which had an electric fence.
The two robbers took at least three hours to cut grills to gain entrance, comb the room and get away with valuables.
Armed with a pair of tongs, the criminals successfully accomplished their mission and left without being noticed.
Ms Wamucii woke up at 6am only to discover that her valuables had been stolen. “I was shocked when I saw trails of mud in my living room and after looking closely, I discovered that some grills on my door had been cut," said Ms Wamucii
The robbery occurred on the day she forgot to switch on the electric fence.
“This means they have been coming here every day to confirm if the electric fence is switched on until yesterday, when I forgot to do so,” she added.
She reported the matter at Mwariki police station in Nakuru and submitted CCTV footages.
However, when Nation contacted police bosses in Nakuru and Gilgil a day later, they denied knowledge of the incident.
Nakuru OCPD Samuel Obara said he was not aware of the case, adding that the area falls under the jurisdiction of Gilgil police division
“I am not aware of the matter as the area is not under my jurisdiction. I am hearing from you for the first time,” said Mr Obara.
On the other hand, Gilgil OCPD Emanuel Opuro said Mwariki station falls under Nakuru police division.
“Nakuru police should help the residents since the region is close to them compared to us,” said Mr Opuro.
So far, no action has been taken by police regarding the incident.
Another report of a 15-year-old pupil who went missing was made at the same station in July.
Residents were, however, shocked by the discovery of skeletons believed to be of the KCPE candidate at Eshareria Primary School on October 12.
Police officers from the two areas said they were not aware of the incident.
These and other incidents have prompted residents to raise concern over the wave of insecurity in the area.
Ms Grace Maina, who has lived in the area for more than 15 years, said security has been deteriorating over the past three years.
She said her home has been robbed at least four times yet no suspect has been arrested. "Here, you can be robbed from as early as 6pm. We have complained to the authorities many times but no action has been taken," said Ms Maina
Another resident, Mr Peter Njenga, said the area has been neglected because it falls within the boundary of two sub-counties. He said neither local leaders nor police care about the area’s security.
Earlier this year, residents took to the streets to protest the high rate of crime at Jimmy-Wanjigi farm along the old Nairobi road. This was after four cows stolen from Nakuru West were found slaughtered in the farm. The residents said the farm had become a hideout for criminal gangs. They cited theft and murder cases along the stretch.
In 2017 alone, more than five bodies were found dumped on the roadside along the stretch.
“Most of the cases involve people being killed in another area and their bodies dumped in the area,” said another resident.
They called on the government to beef up security in the area.
“We are calling upon the government to install security lights as well as put other measures in to stamp out criminal activities in the area,” said a resident.