People suspected to be undercover police officers are posting photos of young men in Mathare slums, Nairobi online linking them to criminal activities before some of them are executed.
Residents claim individuals are using social media accounts to post the photos of the young men who the disappear mysteriously and end up being victims of extra-judicial killings.
This emerged during a forum organised by Mathare Social Justice Centre, Vision Bearers Youth Group, Ecological Justice and Haki Africa in the slums on Friday.
The residents said in the past one year about 200 youths have disappeared in mysterious ways in the slums.
‘‘They use pseudo accounts to profile the youths which has led to forced disappearances of youths and extra judicial killings,’’ said Gacheke Gachihi, a member of Mathare Social Justice Centre.
At the same time, the resident presented a petition to Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, who was present, urging him to assist the families and victims get speedy justice.
In the memorandum, the residents linked some politicians with sponsoring and protecting some criminal gangs in the slums for their own benefits.
Haji promised to work closely with the community to address the issues raised in the memorandum. ‘‘It’s unfortunate that this has been happening. Police should ensure they get the right information when investigating criminal cases and not rely on informants,’’ said Haji yesterday.
Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid urged police detectives to investigate if some pseudo accounts were allegedly being used to warn some youths before being executed.
‘‘In Mathare and entire Nairobi, there is criminalisation of poverty. People are being subjected to harassment, torture and intimidation for no other reason but just because of poverty,’’ said Khalid.
Moses Nyoike, the chairman of Vision Bearers Youth Group, is living in fear after his past photo was printed on a leaflet with others and branded as their ring leader.
Some residents are also victims of fraudsters who promised them jobs in the United Kingdom.
In one of the cases, about 50 families lost millions of shillings to a woman who swindled them after promising to link them to employers abroad.
‘‘We sold our lands, livestock and even borrowed loans from chamas to give to the woman to take our children abroad but she did not do so and even after reporting the case to the police station, no action was taken,’’ one of the victims, Josephine Kerubo, narrated.