Traders in Katheri, Buuri West Sub County have urged the government to deploy more police officers and intensify patrol in bid to contain rising insecurity in the area.
Speaking at a security Public baraza in Katheri market, traders said the armed thieves have been targeting M-pesa shops and Petrol stations where they steal at gunpoint leaving them defenceless.
“There have been issues of theft lately where the targets are M-pesa shops and petrol stations. We close our business early due to fear. When we call the police, the response is slow,” decried Kiruki Murungi, one of the traders.
They noted the insecurity issues extends from Mathagiro, Katheri to Makutano which borders Laikipia County.
“Insecurity is high and we demand a lasting solution in these areas. Response is not good since the robbers are armed. When they come, they threaten or injure the traders, steal money and then disappear,” another trader said, adding that once normalcy is restored, they will do their businesses without fear.
They also noted all robbery cases reported to Nanyuki police station to be transferred to Timau police station for action to be taken.
Residents also lamented over the increase of drugs and substance abuse including bhang and illicit brews among the youth which they said need to be dealt with.
Buuri West Deputy County Commissioner Kipkoech Labatt said theft with violence started December, 2022, where traders were attacked at Tukwel petrol station in Timau which is few metres from Timau police station and then Shell Petrol station in the same town, incidents that have continued to other areas along Nanyuki-Meru highway.
“Robberies started just before Christmas festivities last year and some of the petrol stations which were robbed at night at gunpoint, started at Tukwel petrol station in Timau and proceeded to Shell petrol station and the third was here in Katheri,” said Labbat.
The DCC said boda-boda riders have been aiding in robberies cases in the area while urging all riders to register their motorcycles in a Sacco, a move to contain crimes.
“There some cases where these robbers have been chased by other boda-boda riders and they abandoned their motorcycles in the bush and disappear,” said the DCC, adding some offenders were apprehended and are in custody.
He further said all boda-boda riders in the area will not operate past 11 pm and whoever violates the rule will be arrested, a measure he said will ensure normalcy is returned.
By Muturi Mwangi