By Mogesi Kerandi
Once upon a time, Nairobi City had the highest number of thugs per square kilometres. During Nyayo era, the City under the sun was a haven for hardened criminals in the world. In the eighties and nineties, Nairobi CBD was stuffed with the top notch award winning criminals. People were mercilessly and robbed in broad daylight but no one could give a damn. The police were totally crippled. Banks were robbed on a daily basis. Shops were lifted every hour. Estates like Dandora, Dagoreti, Kibra and Mathare were a no-go-zone. Supermarkets were visited by thugs up to four times a week.
Thank God, at some point, NARC took over power and things changed for the better. By then, you would hear news of criminals shot down daily. Calm was restored and thuggery declined. Things have been good until recently when cases of mugging and daylight robbery reemerged in CBD.
When Interior and National Coordination CS Fred Matiangi took over, he was showered with endless accolades for his industriousness. In fact, he is currently ranked the most performing CS in Uhuru’s Cabinet. But the question begs, how come under the watch of the toughest, gangs have regrouped, and summoned enough courage to rob Kenyans on the CBD in broad daylight? So far, Matiangi has not done anything appertained to that security lapse. The only person who issued a statement was Nairobi Police boss Japhet Koome and he only advised Kenyans to walk in groups to avoid being attacked by criminals. He also warned Kenyans against dressing expensively so that they don’t attract the attention of thugs.
All these are happening while everyone knows who should be in charge of security. We know well security is not devolved. County government of Nairobi is not in charge of security, the national government is. The county government does not pay the salary of the police, the national government does. The County government of Nairobi does not command the police, the National government does.
Why the hell is the national government blaming the County of Nairobi for the deteriorating state of security in Nairobi?
Why do the national government operatives want Kenyans to believe that Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko is the cause of insecurity in the CBD whereas in real sense, it is the national government that should protect every Kenyan as the go on with their daily economic activities?
If Matiangi has managed to put the entire country secure as they say, how come he has been beaten by a few unschooled crooks that have the balls to strike under the full presence of the sun as other Kenyans take photos of them?
On the issue of hawkers in CBD, we are told that in every 10 metres there are two plain-clothed policemen. That in totality translates to thousands of policemen. Assuming the number of thugs masquerading as hawkers to terrorize Kenyans are fifty to a hundred. Are all these policemen incapable of pursuing these thugs, kill them or arrest them? If yes, what is the reason of wasting millions of shillings training people who will be hiding at the mention of the word “thug” Why are they earning salaries?
These facts signpost to one thing, someone wants to set up Governor Mike Sonko so that he can appear bad in the eyes of Nairobians. Matiangi should do his job as Interior CS and ensure Nairobians are secure. Other Cities in The world with France being one of them, allow hawkers in CBD at specific hours and there are no cases of mugging.
The government should stop accusing the opposition of masterminding such thuggish activities because it devalues them. Such statement is a concession that the government is weak. If this government is incapable of containing a few thugs, what will happen when insurgents attack us? In my opinion, former Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe’s resignation has some strings attached to the unfortunate events happening in the CBD. Some cartels installed the boy there so that they can be able to control the City and render the governor powerless, but the governor turned out to be cleverer. The governor insisted he is the only person to sign tenders involving jumbo monies and that did not augur well with the cartels. As a result, the drama began.