, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11- When you meet them, either while going or leaving work, they will acknowledge you with greetings and then strike.
The greetings are meant to remove any suspicion or at least reduce it, but that only last for a few seconds, because they will strike… and do so hard.
That is their modus operandi that has left many sustaining serious injuries, and often, their victims are left with nothing; phones gone, wallets and so on.
It is a group of youthful criminals in Kabete constituency, Kiambu County that continues to wreck havoc on residents with impunity and total disregard for the rule of the law.
The most affected area is King’eero, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood, some 15 minutes away from Nairobi County.
Strangely, some of the attacks have happened just outside the King’eero Police Station, or a few meters away.
The fear-stricken residents have been left with limited options since the thugs strike early in the morning when a majority of them are leaving for work and also in the evening.
– Aged victim narrates his ordeal –
George Wainaina, a 72-year-old resident was attacked on Tuesday morning by two thugs, who after ransacking his pockets, dumped him in a nearby forest, since he had lost consciousness after he was hit with a metallic object several times on the head.
But their approach was cunning, Wainaina told Capital FM News, during an interview at his Kabete home.
“I met some two young men while going to work, early in the morning, they asked me how I was doing but I didn’t respond. I did not move any further … it is that point they started moving in the opposite direction. But as soon as I started walking, one of the criminals came running, hit my leg so hard that I fell, the other one came with a metallic object and started hitting my head several times until I lost consciousness,” Wainaina recalled of the painful ordeal.
To avoid being noticed by people going to work at that hour, they dragged him into a nearby thicket, where they stole all he had.
“Those are people who know what they were doing. They monitor people’s movement and know when to attack. They should be stopped,” he asserted.
On Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after he was attacked, similar cases were reported to the police.
Another victim was left with a fractured hand as he struggled from the ruthless hands of his attackers in the same area and despite tens of cases being reported to King’eero Police Division, authorities are yet to stop the menace.
READ: King’eero the ‘slaughter house’ where criminals roam free
Peter Mwangi, 38, was headed to work when he was attacked.
“I saw this young man who was standing alone but I did not have anything to fear. He said hi, and then asked for a matchbox, but I did not have one. I proceeded to walk, but all of a sudden, he turned and hit me on the head, I fell down,” he recalled.
He too, was hit by a metallic object and like in all cases, his head was the target.
“They hit the head so hard until you lose your consciousness. The thug stole everything I had,” Mwangi, a school driver said.
He was admitted to hospital for four days.
“On that day, pupils did not go to school,” he said. “It is time police act since we cannot quit our jobs. We have families to feed,” the father one said.
Mwangi is still recuperating at his rental home.
A section of the residents have accused police of being lenient, saying despite the increasing cases of crime, there are no night and early morning patrols like before.
“This place is not safe. The security forces around here should come back and do those rounds they used to do,” Pauline Munyua, a resident said.
“Before any life is lost, police should just come and act.”
She missed an attack by a whisker and now her relatives escort her to work every morning.
The area has no Nyumba Kumi committee.
“In this place, most cases go unrecorded because you don’t want to fall victim the next day after reporting,” she said.
In March, a city-based journalist was attacked by thugs in the same area.
He was hit him in the back of his head several times until he lost his consciousness before the thugs proceeded to ransack his pockets.