Inside the deadly Nairobi’s Wadando-Gaza gang, influenced by Vybez Kartel

Jamaican reggae icon Vybes Kartel and members of the Gaza gang from Nairobi's Eastlands, who have since been gunned down by police.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

Three years ago, police officers in the city brought to an end the operation of a ruthless criminal gang called Gaza, which operated within the Eastlands area in Nairobi County.

The gang had a cult-like ideology and always drew its inspiration from Jamaican artist Vybz Kartel, who is now jailed for life after he killed his fellow associate.

During the gang’s heydays, they never spared anyone, including children, and at the slightest provocation, they would pull the trigger and kill.

However, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement and asked members of the deadly gang to surrender their firearms and themselves to the police.

Things started becoming hot, and reports that members of the groups were being killed each new day started.

Around the same time, a clandestine police unit was formed to infiltrate the gang. This gave rise to the kinds of fierce cops Hessy – a pen name used to identify agents in most neighborhoods like Hessy Wa Kayole, Hessy was Dandora, etc.

Others were Saigon Punisher, Black Widow, and Injector. They would infiltrate the gang and get exclusive intel on how it runs.

On May 10, 2017, Ms Clare Njoki Kobia alias Clea Ady Vybz was gunned down alongside her accomplices in a deadly shootout that happened in Kayole, Nairobi County.

This marked the genesis of the ending of the Gaza gang that was feared amongst locals, especially those who resided in Eastlands.

The dead woman was still clutching a Beretta pistol, which had six rounds of ammunition, police said.

Its serial number had been obliterated.

Police at the time said that Ms Kobia was married to a suspected robbery with violence suspect and who was also feared within the city.

In June and July, more suspects believed to be Gaza gang members were also shot and killed but what stamped the end of the Gaza operations was the death of Mr. Mwaniki alias Mwanee Sparta who was shot dead in Kiambu County.

Mr Mwaniki was the widower of Ms Kobia and a day after she had been murdered, he vowed to ensure that he took revenge.

He was shot dead on Sunday at Witeithie Estate in Ruiru, off the Thika Superhighway, alongside another suspect, Willis, after a two-hour shootout with police officers.

Some of the gang members then started moving out of the city as others confessed and surrendered to the police.

Most recently, the killing of Eddy alias Yutman Mgaza Wadando over the weekend has also exposed the inside details of yet another gang identified as the Wadando Gaza gang that operates in Eastlands.

It is an offshoot of the Gaza gang that cops hunted down.

Mr Eddy never shied away from bragging about his crime sprees on social media.

Neither was he fazed when fierce cops like Hessy and Saigon Punisher warned him about his crooked ways. He instead dared the cops to cross his path.

He was part of the most feared gang called Wadando. Eddy was one of the top leaders in the gang, and his trademark brand on social media was taking photos with his face hidden.

Police gave a statement immediately after he was shot down and said that he was a jailbird released from prison in December 2022.

On Monday, January 17, 2023, Nairobi News released an investigative piece on how he operated. The story also had tributes for his wife and close friends who mourned him.

Just like in the case of Eddy, this gang usually doesn’t like showing their faces on social media and can even share their images while smoking bhang while hiding their faces.

The Wadando gang is also heavily inspired by Vybz Cartel, just like their predecessors, the famous Gaza gang.

A sleuth with intel on how the gang operates told Nairobi News that they are linked to illicit drugs, and some possess firearms.

They also work in cohorts with women who also have their roles within the gang.

“If you are a man and appear to be doing well in life, they can send one of the ladies to be your friend as they plan on their next move,” said our source.

Women also can be used in carrying firearms because it is very hard to suspect them compared to men.

The group has also acquired some motorbikes, which they use to flee from the scene of crime once they have made a robbery or are about to be nabbed.

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