Residents of Kutus, a town in Kirinyaga County of Kenya has called on the Kenyan government to come to their aid and restore security and normalcy in the area.
The call followed weeks of terror unleashed by a notorious armed gang who have taken over the town, especially at night.
Security Watch Africa reports that the gang attack businesses, sexually molest girls and women, as well as heavily on hard drugs. It was also gathered that an assistant chief was recently attacked in the area.
Some residents who spoke on how the once busy streets of the town is gradually becoming a ghost community, said the fear of the gang unleashing mayhem is the beginning of wisdom.
They accused the Police of negligence to duty, as the residents say some of the attacks are carried out in the presence of Policemen.
Anthony Maina, a cobbler in Kutus says he is forced to close his business by 8p.m. to save himself from the agony of bumping into the gangs.
“ They have caused untold suffering here. Those who have experienced their wrath say they are usually armed with knives which they use to stab their victims.
” If you do not have cash with you, they beat you up severely and leave you for dead, ” he said.
Like Maina, David Muriuki, a commercial transport, popularly called boda-boad rider, says ever since schools were reopened, crime has risen to uncontrollable levels.
“ Students and especially those from Kirinyaga University are their main targets. Most of them are robbed of money, phones, laptops and other expensive gadgets.
“ This happens in the glaring presence of Police who are stationed within town. The officers here need to be transferred because they have not been cooperating with us. Whenever arrests are made, culprits get away with it since they are released after a few hours,” Muriuki said.
His colleague Julius Waweru regrets that their business risks facing hardship in the coming days if action is not taken fast enough. He says they hardly make enough money each day as they are forced to cut short their operations and head home early.
The story is not different with Waweru Gacu, a welder, who recounted how his workshop was broken into during the night. He says the thieves stole some items he had made for his customers.
“ They stole some window and door flames. I had to compensate my clients. They are driving us into making more losses by the day. They rule this small town during the night. You would think you are mingling with other town passers-by until you find yourself caught in the web. Women and young girls are the most vulnerable as they also risk being sexually abused.”
Sammy Maina also termed the attacks as unfortunate, saying the state of security in the area had deteriorated.
He said the culprits have become so bold that they even attack local administrators. “I’m aware of the sub-chief’s attack and I have made several attempts to present the insecurity concerns to the area security officers,” he said.
Reacting to the complaints the Police Chief in-charge of the area, Daniel Kitavi and County Police Commander, Leah Kithei, promised to follow up on the matter.