Trader lose property worth millions as locals set business empire ablaze

A vehicle belonging to the trader burns after a mob that set it ablaze accused him of being connected to motorcycle theft. [Peter Muthomi, Standard]
A trader lost property worth millions of shillings when residents torched his business over the weekend.

The businessman and his family escaped death as police whisked them away from the mob, which accused him of engaging in illegal business.

Police raided the trader's premises in Mwigaanda, Mikunduri ward in Tigania East, on Saturday and recovered eight motorcycles and 19 motorcycle engines.

Following the recovery, an angry mob invaded and burnt the trader's shops, home and vehicle.

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They also slashed his goats and cows, and killed his pigs.

Villagers who spoke to The Standard at the scene said they knew the trader as a businessman dealing in scrap metal. He also owned a shop and some eateries.

“He would call in to vernacular radio stations to report on insecurity. However, today we were shocked when motorcycles, some stolen from slain riders, were found in his home,” said one resident identified only as Kimathi.

The man is being held at Mikinduri Police Station.

James Mugambi, a cereals trader in Mikinduri, said the residents were angered by the number of deaths involving motorcycles riders in the area.

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They said 12 people, mostly youths, had been murdered in Mikinduri and their bikes stolen in the last three months.

“The worst incident was the recent murder of a 16-year-old boy,” he said.

Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Muli said police were working on information provided by the public when they raided the suspect's premises.

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