, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – From the exterior, King’eero looks calm and just like any other town within the outskirts of Nairobi City, it is budding.
But true to its name King’eero – which means a slaughter house – all is not well, at least for victims of the spiralling crime rate.
Residents are living in fear as appeals for heightened security, they say, fall in the deaf ears of authorities who are either too slow to act or investigate.
While criminals have made it a safe haven, victims continue to live in fear not knowing when the enemy will pounce.
This is despite King’eero Police Station being located in the area.
Youthful criminals have been targeting locals in the evening, mostly those walking home from the bus terminus, despite the police station being a few meters away.
The latest victim is Francis Njuguna who was ambushed by three thugs, who stole more than Sh10,000 and a phone after hitting him several times on his head using a metallic object until he lost consciousness.
The incident happened mid last month.
“This security of this area is wanting. I was walking home, on hand I was holding an umbrella, on the other one a shopping bag. But a few metres before I got home, I heard steps of people coming towards my direction but even before I turned, someone hit me hard on the head, it was clear they were of no good…” Njuguna narrated the incident that left him shaken.
By now, he was bleeding.
“I turned and asked them what they wanted. By now other thugs had joined the one who hit me, but no one uttered a word. By now, I was bleeding profusely but they waited until I started wiping the blood from my face. I was hit several times until I lost consciousness.”
This was his second time in the hands of the ruthless criminals which happened less than 100 metres from the police station.
“They thought I was dead but I thank God I survived…” he said, while showing stitches on the back of his head, face and hands.
The father of four is yet to resume work since the wounds are not yet healed week after the attack.
The day after Njuguna was attacked, a security guard was killed by thugs in the same area, who also dismantled and stole parts of vehicles that were parked in the compound he was manning.
The incident lasted for hours, as the thugs ‘harvested’ spare parts from parked lorries.
“They were even ushering people to an apartment inside the compound,” a tenant who did want to be named said.
A spot check by Capital FM News saw youths drunk as early as 10am lazing at the shopping centre, an indication of the high unemployment rate in the area.
Still in March, a city-based journalist was attacked by thugs in the same area.
Just like in the case of Njuguna, they hit him in the back of his head several times until he lost his consciousness before proceeding ransack his pockets.
“They are petty thieves but who have a potential of killing,” a resident of the area said.
Though the area police boss Joseph Ongaya says such cases have declined, residents have raised an eyebrow since most of the cases happen within a radius of 500 meters from the police station.
Some residents have called for a reshuffle within the police station.