Residents of Maragua area in Murang’a County have demanded police officers who have stayed in the region for more than three years be transferred forthwith accusing them of abetting crime.
The residents claim that the police officers have been compromised by criminals, thus increasing insecurity in the area. Over the past few months, parts of Maragua Sub County have witnessed numerous criminal activities including bhang peddling and brewing of illicit liquor.
The locals have been decrying mugging especially at night which has occasioned business people to close before darkness sets in.
The resident spoke at Gakoigo grounds when a security team led by Central regional commissioner Mr. Wilfred Nyagwanga visited the area to assess the situation and come up with measures to curb the increased crime.
They decried increased cases of burglary at business premises, illicit brews, sexual offences, murder, and theft among other criminal activities that they linked to a gang of 12 youth.
During the meeting, the manufacturing of illicit brews at Maisha Mathi village featured largely with residents terming the brewers untouchables.
A local businessman, John Wanyoike said traders at Maragua town want to be assured of security so they could operate fearlessly. “The security situation has been worse but now with the coming of the new OCS, the situation has improved,” said Wanyoike, also a member of the county Chamber of Commerce committee.
On the other hand, Maragua MP Mary Waithera accused a section of security officers who have been compromised by the criminal elements in the community adding that there are increased brewing activities in Ishangai area near Saba Saba market.
She called for transfer of the security officers who have stayed in one of the stations for more than three years. “The locality has been affected by illicit brews leading to truancy of children from school,” she remarked.
The MP said there was the need to eradicate the criminal activities to help initiate more development programmes, as she called on the security committee to post additional policemen at Nginda Chief Camp where currently there are two officers only.
“The chiefs should be armed as it takes longer for the police to respond when called after locals arrest illicit brewers,” said Waithera adding that maisha mathi is a den where merchants of illicit brews operate.
The regional commissioner called for efforts to restore the glory of the town and the surrounding areas saying the government will apprehend the criminal elements. Nyagwanga blamed the locals for failing to support police by providing crucial information to enable them arrest the criminals.
He disclosed that last month a major raid was conducted within Maisha Mathi village and a thousand litres of illicit brews was confiscated and culprits arrested. “Today we have destroyed approximate 500 litres of assorted illicit brews and rolls of bhang that the police intercepted from the notorious village,” said the RC.
by Bernard Munyao