, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23- A major crackdown on hawkers and street children is looming as part of the adopted security measures to address the spiralling rate of crime within Nairobi Central Business District.
According to Nairobi Police boss Japheth Koome, 35 suspected muggers have so far been arrested since Sunday.
Already, the Nairobi County Government has banned boda boda’s within the CBD after it emerged that they were being used by thugs to escape after attacking unsuspecting city residents.
But the boda-boda operators insist they are legally within the CBD and have already paid for their licenses.
“Where do they want us to go? John Onyango asked.
Another queried, “Why did they receive our money if we are illegally here? Those who commit crime within the city are not members of our associations.”
But Director of Operations at the City Inspectorate Department Peter Mbaya says the directive will be enforced.
“They must leave the CBD,” he said.
“Only motorcycles having carrier boxes or those offering courier services and have branded boxes will be allowed into the CBD.”
Boda boda operators are now required to drop their passengers outside the banned area.
Police have attributed the spiralling crime within Nairobi’s Central Business District to lack of finances by youths after the festive season and a prolonged electioneering period that saw them receive handouts from politicians.
– The metamorphosis of criminal gangs –
As the political temperatures in the country gradually fizzle out, some criminal gangs formed during the prolonged electioneering season are changing tact with some relocating to other areas according to police.
During the electioneering period, the country saw a ballooning number of criminal gangs, majority formed for political reasons, according to National Crime Research Centre records, as well as police.
While police recorded more than 80 groups, NCRC statistics show that there are 125 spread across the country.
One of such group is the Kayole based Gaza group, which according to NCRC Director General Gerald Wandera is moving to Machakos.
“They are metamorphosing and changing tact’s for the purpose of eluding the long arm of law,” Wandera told Capital FM News.
Machakos is seen as a soft landing because of its expansive land, which Wandera say they want to engage in illegal brokerage and providing ‘security’ in construction sites.
– Hotspots –
Hotspot areas include Temple Road, Hakati Road, KTDA area Moi Avenue, Haile Selassie from railway termini towards Jesus is Alive Ministry Church.
Other areas are Racecourse Road, Uyoma Road, junction of Ronald Ngala, Pumwani Road, and the Globe Interchange.
While in the past the thugs would snatch phones and handbags, they are also removing weaves from women and pieces of jewellery.
-Murder in Kayole-
Elsewhere, Police are looking for a man who hit and killed his colleague with a spade in a fight at a sand collection centre in Kayole, Nairobi.
Two men had disagreed over their share before a fight broke out that led to one being hit and killed.
The killer escaped from the scene and efforts to trace him are ongoing.