NAIROBI Kenya, Oct 17 – Police on Friday received two firearms and a range of crude weapons barely two days after rivals groups engaged in fierce gunfights at the controversial Dandora dumpsite.
The gangs surrendered a Ceska pistol and a semi-automatic American Colt and two bullets to the police.
Starehe divisional police boss Samuel Anampiu welcomed the move while urging more youths to surrender any weapon in their possession.
“The street boys have surrendered two firearms, two bullets, two pangas and daggers. This is a good gesture but we must also ensure nobody has illegal weapons in their possession,” he said.
“We will not relent in the war against crime,” he added.
“Even after their wilful surrender of weapons, police are still conducting operations to recover illegal arms in their possession,” he stated.
Nairobi Senator Gideon Mbuvi rewarded the group Sh50,000 for giving up the illegal weapons.
Area residents have raised concern over the continued daylight public shootout between two gangs operating in the area fighting for control of the lucrative garbage site.
Early this week, gun wielding rival goons staged a protracted bloody battle that resulted in one fatality and multiple injuries.
The event occurred when vigilante groups from informal sectors of Korogocho engaged their opponents from Dandora for hours. Anampiu says that police are already investigating individuals suspected to be illegal firearm handlers in the area.
Last month, another wanted gangster surrendered to the police and handed over an illegal gun in his possession.
A report released on August 30 by the National Crime Research Centre shows that there are 46 criminal gangs in the country with eight operating within Nairobi.
The report shows that the majority of these groups – at 50.2 percent – engage in illicit drug trafficking while 34.4 percent engage in extortion of money and related activities.
Police were accused of colluding with some members of these illegal groups while some allegedly ignore useful information from the public that may help them stop their illegal activities.
Speaking when he launched the report, Attorney General Githu Muigai said the government was aware of the immense security challenges posed by the groups.
He said relevant policies will be put to reverse the current situation.
He has also warned members of the public against relating with the groups or offering any support, saying they derail development of the country.
“It is a criminal offence to offer any support to any of these organised criminal gangs,” he warned.
In response to the worrying situation, the Attorney General said: “The government will use such studies to help stop this.”
He noted the criminal gangs were revolving in unprecedented ways which give the security agencies great challenge.
Dandora is profiled as one of the security hotspots in Nairobi, and is also listed as having been heavily infested by criminal gangs involved in drug trafficking and kidnapping according to the report.