NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – A middle aged man was on Tuesday morning roughed up by enraged members of the public after he was allegedly caught stealing books from the St Peters Primary School at the Holy Family Basilica.
A cleaner at the church, Bernard Michael told Capital News that the man had already snitched eight text books before he was confronted by workers at the church as he tried to escape.
“He had a cross bar which he was using to break the doors. (A colleague) noticed him and we ran after him. We have just beaten him a little,” he said adding that the man did not have any identification documents.
Soki Ndunda, who works as a guard at the church, said robbery cases at the church had increased recently with two cars stolen in the past week alone. “The cars were stolen from the front parking and they are yet to be recovered,” he said.
Thieves have been taking advantage of worship hours of early mornings and the evenings to carry out their mission. The thugs target cars parked at the compound removing parts especially side mirrors and lights.
Mr Ndunda said the church had boosted its security around the compound but the thieves seem to be outsmarting them.
“Earlier they were stealing from the front parking but after we increased our presence there, they have now turned to the parking behind but we have also strengthened the security there too,” he said.
Three weeks ago the Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) demanded an overhaul of police officers operating within the City centre, accusing them of colluding with criminals.
NCBDA Chairman Timothy Muriuki said many of the officers deployed to the Central Business District (CBD) had served for longer than the stipulated three-year period that an officer should serve at a police station.
Mr Muriuki said the association was convinced that many of the officers are to blame for the increased wave of crime in town.
“We have reason to believe they are colluding with criminals because these robberies are alarming. They do not respond to distress calls in time and we no longer see the kind of service that is deserved,” he told journalists at a press conference.
Even after raising the matter with the police on several occasions, Mr Muriuki said, no action had been taken and no improvement was visible.
He added that many of the robberies that had been committed in broad daylight had been taking place despite the heavy presence of police officers on patrol on key streets and avenues in town.
“This leaves us wondering why the robbers are carrying out their activities with impunity. We strongly believe there is collusion and that is why we are demanding an overhaul of the system in the city centre,” he said.
But deputy police spokesman Charles Owino told Capital News declined to confirm or deny the allegations. “We can not certainly deny or confirm these reports, if the NCBDA have evidence on this matter, they should not hesitate to share it with us for further action,” he said.
Mr Owino said all allegations would be investigated and appropriate action taken to minimise the increased cases of robberies in town.
“Ours is police service and we are devoted to provide security to lives and property of everybody, we are open to any suggestions which can enable us improve our services,” he told Capital News.
Some shops in the CBD had experienced robberies twice in a period of one week.
On Kaunda Street, Biba Stationeries shop was robbed barely a week after another robbery.
In both incidents, the robbers reportedly appeared calm and composed as they ransacked drawers and frisked customers’ pockets for money.
“And they even boasted that they will be back. They did not appear to be in a hurry. This alone is an indication that they are not scared of the police,” a shop attendant told Capital News.