Residents raise concerns over insecurity in Manyani, Nakuru
On November 2, Mr Simon Murage closed his business premises at around 9pm to head home to Manyani, Nakuru Town East constituency, where he lived with his family.
But 30 metres away from his house, three men emerged from a dark corner and attacked him, stabbing him in the neck and leg. The assailants made away with his phone and wallet.
Mr Murage removed his shirt and tied it around his neck to help stop the bleeding. He then crawled to his house and knocked on the gate, which his wife opened.
When he told her what had happened, she screamed, drawing neighbours to the homestead. They took Mr Murage to Nakuru Level Five Hospital, but he succumbed to the injuries the next day.
His wife, Mary Murage, could not hold back tears as she received mourners at her homestead.
Their neighbour, Ms Leah Kasei, said Ms Murage had visited her husband at the hospital in the morning. He told her that the stab wounds in the neck were responding well to treatment and only complained of pain in his injured leg.
She said he was in high spirits and even took his morning porridge and requested milk, which his wife promised to take to him during her planned lunch-hour visit.
Mr Murage called his wife at 11am to tell her that he had been discharged. He requested a fresh set of clothes.
But when Ms Murage arrived at the hospital, she found her husband on supplementary oxygen and surrounded by medics. A few minutes later, she was told he had died.
“She had called me excited that that her husband would be discharged that day. She asked me if I could accompany her, but I was held up somewhere and promised I would meet them at their home. It is sad that she did not even have the chance to speak to him at the hospital,” Ms Kasei said.
Ms Kalei urged the police to beef up security in the area and install security lights, saying criminals take advantage of the darkness to attack passers-by.
The previous week, she said, another person was attacked at a nearby plot at 9pm as he walked to the washroom. The criminals stole a mobile phone worth more than Sh7,000.
“This area is not safe. Youths are just roaming around robbing people. You cannot even dare go out at night or you will be the target; they are all over,” she said.
“Some of the criminals hide in the name of bodaboda but they are using it to escape after their attacks.”
About one hundred metres from Mr Murage’s house, we found another victim, who spoke on the condition of anonymity fearing victimisation. He said he was attacked by a gang of three on his way home from work at 8pm on Sunday.
He said the gang ambushed him as he was about to enter his gate. They took his mobile phone and the money he had in his pocket. They also forced him to give them his M-Pesa PIN and they withdrew all the money from his account and in M-Shwari.
He said they then attempted to stab him in the neck but the knife only sliced his ear.
The thugs had not covered their faces, he said, and they are well known in the community though no one dares to mention their names.
“I cooperated with them. They took more than Sh20,000 I had in my pocket and in my phone. They even threatened to kill me just like the ‘mzee’, referring to Mr Murage,” he said. This is how he knew that it was the same gang in action.
Another person is also nursing ear injuries after he was attacked on Monday on his way from work.
Rising insecurity prompted the community to hold a meeting on Wednesday with security officials to deliberate on how to deal with the situation.
Speakers blamed police, saying the gang members brag that they cannot be arrested or if they are, they would be released before being taken to court.
They said many residents are too afraid to name the criminals though they are known in the community, adding that they threaten to attack anyone who reports them to the authorities.
They called on police to intensify patrols in Kivumbini, Bondeni and Flamingo.
Nakuru County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo said the three attacks were being investigated.
He urged victims to report the incidents and follow up their case until they are concluded, adding that many are intimidated and fail to share evidence with the police.
“One of the problems we have in terms of the criminal justice system is that after the arrest, there must be evidence to take to court,” Mr Mwanzo said.
“These victims at times are intimidated and fail to come out to give the evidence. It always starts with complain, report, investigations [and] collection of evidence to take to court.
“Without all these, it is hard to prosecute such cases and the criminals would just be released.”