Residents of Tushauriane, Saba Saba, Nyando and Soweto in Kayole have sounded alarm over increased cases of thuggery that has seen muggers target people returning home at night from work. The situation has been aggravated and getting out of hand since a senior crime buster cop was transferred from the area.
Young men armed with guns and swords and operating in groups have in the recent past unleashed a wave of terror, snatching phones and wallets in a daredevil manner and scarcely fearing to be identified or arrested before vanishing into dark alleys from where they keep staging attacks on pedestrians.
An official of the Kayole Residents Association has appealed to police boss Inspector Joseph Boinnet to increase police on foot patrols and accused mobile patrol officers of only concentrating on picking bribes from bar owners and are never bothered by criminal elements who have now caused an unofficial “curfew” with shops closing early as frightened residents are forced to barricade themselves in houses.
“To be seen with a smart phone is to immediately qualify you as a target,” said a chemist operator at Nyando near the DO’s office.
“This is unacceptable,” said a resident while lamenting that despite adequate street lighting, crooks operate without any fear at all, harassing and tormenting citizens going about their business and their target is always smart phones and laptops, adding that even carjacking incidents which had gone down were now back with a vengeance.
In the past, a no-nonsense cop Hennessy wa Kayole had almost wiped out all pockets of insecurity as he had known most of the thugs intimately and would warn them before later gunning them down if they persisted with crime.
He would always post a warning on his Facebook account. In one incident, a female gangster who had been notorious in Kayole near Soweto was gunned down in a fierce exchange of fire with police along Kangundo road in a foiled robbery attempt. Later, her husband also a gangster had vowed to revenge but was also later killed by police.
Residents are now living in fear and say the thugs are getting bolder with each passing day and openly snatch phones and walk away with impunity. The crooks have started accosting people in houses due to sluggish police patrol some of who also focus on picking handouts from bar owners. “This habit of bribes from bar owners must stop as it in the same bars that muggers hide or come to sell phones after robbery,” protested a vegetable vendor.