Residents of Makuyu are living under the mercy of a criminal gang that police have allegedly been unable to rein in.
The gang, christened 'Usiku Sacco', has sent shivers down the spines of residents following its operations that are similar to those of the outlawed Mungiki sect.
The criminals, who operate from 7pm, rob and mug locals, and are also said to smoke bhang.
During a security baraza held at Makuyu chief's camp yesterday, the residents recounted their tribulations at the hands of the gang.
The locals told County Security Committee members how the gang had been in existence since October last year, with claims that some police officers might be protecting them.
The gang, the public said, was also involved in peddling bhang, robbing market traders as it takes advantage of disconnection of security lights over a Sh600, 000 bill that has plunged parts of the town into darkness.
Led by Onesmus Kamau and John Mwangi, the residents told Murang'a County Commissioner John Elung'ata how a suspect who was arrested while attempting to steal from patrons in a bar was later freed with the business owner being forced to pay him Sh18, 000.
"Instead of prosecuting the robber, the bar owner was told to part with Sh18, 000 ostensibly for 'illegal detention'. This is unheard of," complained Mwangi.
In another case, a notorious bhang peddler, they claimed, secured release from cells with police officers warning the public against "taking over our job."
Maragua MP Mary Waithira said increased insecurity had threatened businesses. She called on the committee to weed out rogue security officers perceived to be colluding with criminals.
“Many of the crimes committed in Makuyu area are blamed on increased bhang smoking and police laxity,” said the lawmaker.
The county commissioner consequently disbanded ‘Nyumba Kumi’ committees, claiming some members had been compromised by criminals.
Mr Elung'ata said following complains of deteriorating security, a new administrator had been posted to Makuyu division to streamline security operations.