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Police target criminal gangs as security is beefed up


The government has assured residents of Trans Nzoia County of their security following a recent wave of crime in the region.

Area County Commissioner Mr. Mathias Rioba made the assurance at Kolongei village, Matumbei location in Endebess Sub County where he addressed a security baraza .

The security measures comes after the county was recently rocked by several incidents of criminal activities in which gangs of armed robbers have killed at least two people while scores of other residents sustained injuries during their raids.

The criminal activities, perpetrated by what now appears to be organized armed gangs, have caused panic among members of the public.
In one other incident which occurred around mid-December, an Asian businessman and one of his workers were slain in broad daylight when armed robbers attacked his premise within Kitale town.

Towards the end of the same month another Asian businessman was violently attacked by an armed gang while he was heading to deposit cash in one of the local banks in Kitale town.

Police records indicate the gang, which had hired boda boda services, sprained bullets on the helpless businessman before managing to make away with close to Sh.1 million.

The latest incident occurred last Friday at Kolongei village when three armed men attacked a homestead where members of a merry go round group were holding a meeting.

According to police and eyewitnesses accounts, the armed gang stormed the homestead and ordered everybody to lie down before demanding cash.

“Members of Konik Merry go round group were holding a meeting in one of their member’s house last Friday. However at about 20.40 pm the meeting was disrupted when a gang of three men, one armed with an AK 47 rifle, stormed the house and ordered everybody to lie down.

The gang fired one round of ammunition hitting the floor while demanding money,” County Criminal Investigations Officer (CCIO) Francis Kihara told KNA.

A member of the merry go round group, Mr. Kennedy Cheminingwa, 35 years, and a neighbour to the homestead, Ms. Ann Chebet, were shot on the chest and pelvis respectively.

“The victims were rushed to Kitale Referral Hospital before being transferred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret for medical attention with bullets still lodged on their bodies,” said CCIO Kihara, adding nothing was stolen in the attempted robbery incident.

According to the latest health reports, doctors had successfully removed the bullet from Chebet’s body while Chemininngwa was still battling for his life at the Eldoret hospital with the lodged bullet still unremoved.

With preliminary investigations indicating perpetrators of the violent incidents are mostly outsiders,CC Rioba instructed all Officers Commanding Stations (OCSs) and chiefs to ensure Community Policing Committees and Nyumba Kumi outfits were active.

“One of the mandates of the Nyumba Kumi outfits is to help the government enhance security in residences by identifying visitors or strangers living amongst ourselves and thoroughly establish their motives,” stated Rioba.

“The unfortunate and tragic event that occurred here could have been averted if members of our Nyumba Kumi were proactive,” remarked Rioba who was reacting to claims the three criminals had camped in the village for about four days prior to the shooting incident.

Rioba also directed the police department to deploy more National Police Reservists (NPR) to all trading centres in the county.

He further urged police and County law enforcement officers to ensure none of the unregistered boda boda motorcycles were on the roads.

“Intelligence reports have heavily accused boda boda operators of aiding criminal activities in the county,” remarked Rioba who warned of dire consequences to boda boda operators who will be arrested for abetting crime.

The County Chief further ordered restaurant and guest house owners to ensure they captured important details of all clients.

“I also encourage the locals, at individual levels, to volunteer any information which borders on insecurity to security agents, including Community Policing Committees, Nyumba Kumi, village elders, assistant chiefs and chiefs, for appropriate action,” appealed Rioba.

The CC was accompanied by Endebess Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Rashid Kwanya, members from the county and sub county security and intelligence committees.
By Maurice Aluda

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