May 26th 2017

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In rare meeting with officials, Matungulu residents decry runaway crime in region

Armed crime had peaked in the region for months, but October brought a temporary lull that, from the look of things, has come to an end. In the latest incident, armed gangsters attacked business premises at Koma shopping centre last weekend, seriously injuring three night guards.

By Rose Mukonyorosemukonyo@yahoo.comMonday, 17 Oct 2016 11:09 EAT

Residents of Matungulu, Machakos County, now want local security agents to pull up their socks in dealing with the rising cases of insecurity in the region. This came out during a security meeting convened at the weekend by area Deputy County Commissioner, Patrick Mwangi, which was also attended by local police chiefs including area OCPD Joseph Chesire and Kangundo DCIO Wycliffe Sifuna.

The residents and members of the business community have been alarmed by the rising cases of insecurity which have rocked Tala town and its environs in the past few weeks. Several attacks by gangsters have left the region terrorised, with a number of people killed and property of unknown value destroyed.

Armed crime had peaked in the region between August and September, but October brought a temporary lull that, from the look of things, has immediately come to an end. In the latest incident, armed gangsters attacked business premises at Koma shopping centre last weekend, seriously injuring three night guards who are currently nursing their injuries in hospitals.

The gangsters, armed with crude weapons, raided Koma shopping center just days after a form two student was hijacked by suspected criminals on his way from Tala. The criminals stole the boy's motorbike before hacking him to death and dumping his body by the roadside along Tala-Donyo Sabuk road. Theft of livestock has also been reported in several areas within Koma location as well as break-ins on shops and other business premises in key shopping centers. 

During the meeting, local residents called for the establishment of a full police station in Tala Town. The bodaboda chairperson, Joseph Mwilu, requested the police to carry out thorough investigations before releasing crime suspects handed over to them. His remarks come at a time when several bodaboda operators are said to have been robbed especially at night. Mr Mwilu cited a recent case of a young man who was killed and his motorbike stolen. He further asked the police to respond swiftly to distress calls especially at night.

The OCPD, Mr Chesire, stated that it was important for the police to partner with other stakeholders such as taxi drivers, matatu operators and the bodaboda riders to uphold security in the area. "You are the people on the ground and you should be free to pass any information that you have to the police," he urged. He further asked them to be vigilant especially during the upcoming December holidays when most cases of crime are reported.

Regarding enhancing the efficiency of the police, Matungulu DCC mentioned that the Kenya police was in the process of identifying a portion of land where they will put up a well equipped full police station in Tala area. "The government is planning to improve the working conditions in the police lines and money has been put aside for the same."

The DCIO, Mr Sifuna, assured everyone present that there will be a difference in the way the police handled cases of crime and urged them to work together to see security established in the area.

Rose is a contributing writer for the Kenya Free Press, based in Machakos County.





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