Susan Kihika: The day 'Confirm' gang demanded Sh600,000 from me

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika who is vying for Nakuru gubernatorial contest speaks at the Lions Primary School Hall where she addressed the business community and pledged to address the insecurity issue if she is elected as Governor on August 9

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

The criminal gang Confirm, a big headache for security agents in Nakuru city, is known to terrorise ordinary residents.

But it is targeting the elites too, Nakuru governor aspirant Susan Kihika has revealed.

Ms Kihika said she had a brief encounter with the gang, which operates in Nakuru slums like Bondeni, Kivumbini, Kaptembwa, Flamingo, Kwa Rhonda and Kaptembwa, while she was on the campaign trail in the wards.

She revealed this when she spoke to the business community comprising the Hindu Council of Kenya, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Nakuru County Tourism Association, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Nakuru Business Association at Lions Primary School Hall on Thursday.

Ms Kihika said surging gang violence is a serious matter that should be dealt with urgently, adding that “we would be lying to say that we are not aware of these gangs like Confirm”.

"I have myself tried to go from one ward to another and [the gang] blocked the road for me and demanded that I give them Sh600,000 or else they wouldn’t allow me to pass," Ms Kihika said.

She added: "This issue of the Confirm gang in Nakuru city is a big concern. It is something nobody is talking much about, but I want to confirm here it is an issue that concerns me. I promise to address it if I'm elected as the next governor of Nakuru."

Mr Shailesh Seth (left)the chairman Hindu Council of Kenya Nakuru welcomes Senator Susan Kihika (right) at Lions Primary School Hall on June 9, 2022.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

She said that “once we get our act right and create job opportunities and have a strong social capital investment and deploy more security, we shall address this insecurity issue involving criminal gangs composed of young men".

She said boosting security in the county would be a top priority for her if she wins the August 9 elections against his arch-rival Lee Kinyanjui.

"We must secure the security of residents of Nakuru so that we can have a vibrant economy, and that is top on my agenda for the county. We can't have a 24-hour economy if we have criminal gangs lurking around the city and its environs," she said.

She said that although Nakuru County was enjoying peace more than other counties, a lot of work remains to be done to ensure peace remains.

Ms Kihika was responding to security concerns raised by Peris Mbuthia, a representative of KAM in the South Rift region.

"Nakuru has recently been classified as a hotbed of violence and security is key to the business community. This is a big outcry from our members. Their workers cannot go home late or come to work early because of insecurity and gangs like Confirm," Ms Mbuthia said.

She said she was disturbed that some of the criminal gangs have the backing of politicians.

Members of the Nakuru business community at Nakuru Lions Primary school Hall on June 9, 2022

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

"The leaders should ensure there is security for business to thrive. As a business community, we want a peaceful election. We want to continue with our businesses the best way we can. It is not about the party affiliations. It is about the leaders," said Ms Mbuthia.

"We want the assurance that the incoming county government will have policies that will help the business community run their business competitively."

The business community also raised concerns about rising county debt. "We're not seeing much value in the debt and the county government should engage business people on various boards and committees."