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Monday, 8 April 2019

Gang attack victims left traumatised after robberies

Dr Joseph Mwaura
By MACHARIA MWANGI
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On January 21 at around 9.30pm, Dr Joseph Mwaura drove to his Naivasha home in Maryland Estate in Kayole after a long and tiring day in office.
He opened his main gate as he used to every other day.
But unknown to him, danger lurked in the backyard.
Three men sprung from the bushes and got hold of him by the scruff of his neck.
Terrified, Dr Mwaura tried to raise the alarm but his panicky voice failed him.
HOURS OF HORROR
The thugs dragged him into his house where his family was waiting for him to enter the palatial mansion.
What followed was similar to a scene in horrifying movie as the cold and ruthless gang barked orders as the family coiled in fear, unsure of what would happen next.
“For a moment, I thought it was a bad dream but I was quickly jolted back to reality as two more thugs joined their accomplices,” Dr Mwaura remembers the night of terror.
He was ordered to surrender his car keys as others tied him and his wife up.
STEALING SPREE
The thugs, armed with pangas and iron bars, started ransacking the house and carted away all the electronics before two of them drove away.
“They used my car to ferry the stolen items leaving behind three others to keep guard. All this time, I pleaded with them not to harm us,” he continues.
For the next seven hours, the cocky thugs taunted him, telling him how he was born with as silver spoon in his mouth. Theirs, they told him, was a dog’s life and they had to steal to break even.
TOUGH CHOICES
“We don’t like what we do, but we have to do it anyway. We are not sorry. Ours are tough choices. Next time you attend a church service pray for us to abandon robbery and lead a clean life,” Dr Mwaura recollects one of the thugs lamenting.
“They paced up and down brandishing pangas,” he continues.
HUNGRY
As the night wore on, the thugs said they were hungry and retreated into the kitchen where they cooked ugali and scrambled eggs.
“They ate to their fill as they sarcastically asked if we would take some coffee. They offered to prepare it for us,” says Dr Mwaura.
Unsure of what else to say, Dr Mwaura or Daktari as he is fondly referred to by neighbours, nodded in the affirmative.
“They indeed prepared coffee for us which we drunk before we pleaded with them to untie us,” says Dr Mwaura.
WITHDREW CASH
Moments later, a wave of torments followed as the thugs demanded the couple’s mobile phones, withdrew cash from their M-Pesa accounts and transacted more money through mobile banking.
“In total we lost more than Sh100,000 and they also ordered us to call our friends to send us more money. Luckily none of the friends picked our calls,” says Dr Mwaura.
At around 3am, their accomplices returned and swept the house clean before driving away at around 4am.
“It was like scene from hell. Unnerved and shaking to the core. It was the longest 10 hours of my life,” says Dr Mwaura.
Nation Leadership Forum
A number of families in Naivasha's Maryland estate are traumatised following a spate of armed robberies. National security will be the main agenda in Nation Leadership Forum to be held on April 8, 2019 at the University of Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
TRAUMA
Now the medic is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and any disturbance outside the house has the family scampering for safety.
On Sunday March 31, the gang believed to be the one that robbed Daktari returned to the crime-prone Maryland Estate and repeated an almost similar script.
The balaclava wearing thugs prowled in the darkness as teacher Muchiri Mwangi drove into his homestead less than 500 metres from Daktari’s home.
As the teacher stepped out, three people armed with a pistols accosted him and ordered him to open his house but he refused and a scuffle ensued.
“As my father struggled with the attackers, one of them opened fire and injured him in the leg,” said his son, 21-year-old son Kassim Kamotho.
SHOT
They managed to steal Sh13,000 from the teacher who bravely fought them off before he was shot twice, with one of the bullets hitting a mobile phone inside his pocket.
What followed was a 30-minutes ordeal that has left the family traumatised.
“After injuring my father, they forced us to lie down as they searched the whole house for valuables,” added the son.
“They harassed my mum as they demanded for more cash which we did not have,” added Mr Kamotho.
After escaping from the scene the family was able to take their injured father to the hospital where he is still undergoing treatment.
The two families personify what the residents of the reclusive estate have been subjected to by the marauding thugs who lay siege, attacking unsuspecting residents outside their homesteads.
10 FAMILIES ATTACKED
Most of them shudder at the thought of arriving home late, fearing that the thugs might be hovering in the vicinity.
“More than 10 families have been attacked in the past three months by the callous gang and with a number of them sustaining injuries,” said Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja.
He called for the gazettement of Karai police post which remains closed more than two years since it was completed.
“We are calling upon the interior CS Fred Matiang'i to push for the opening of the police post to help stem the runaway crime,” said the MCA.
ENHANCED PATROLS
But speaking in his office, Naivasha Sub-County Deputy Police Commander John Kwasa said they have enhanced patrols in the affected area with more officers being deployed.
“We have our ears on the ground and what we are asking for from the public is to help us track down criminals by volunteering information,” said the deputy police boss.
He called upon the residents to embrace the Nyumba Kumi initiative and report strangers within their midst, saying those staging robberies appear familiar with the area.

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