How burglars have taken over Mamboleo, Kisumu

A section of Mamboleo in Kisumu East. An armed gang has been giving residents sleepless nights. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Residents of Mamboleo in Kisumu East are living in fear of a gun-wielding gang that has been terrorising them.

But while burglaries and other forms of attacks are reported almost every night, no one has recorded statements with the police.

Three weeks ago, a night guard was killed before the gang broke into a home in Opepo and took away electronic goods.

Those who spoke to The Standard on condition of anonymity said the gang members were well-known in the area.

"They tell their victims that if the matter is reported to the police, they will return and the consequences will be dire," said one resident.

This could explain why the nearby Opepo Administration Police Camp does not have any records of official complaints despite an increase in burglaries.

However, a bold Renate Atieno, a victim of the gang, said she received the same warning last week.

Ms Atieno said during an attack on her home, she lost a mobile phone, 32-inch television set and a cooking gas cylinder.

She said the gang also took food from her fridge.

"I was awakened by a sharp light. The gang members had found their way into my bedroom through the window. I asked them who they were and what they wanted and they told me to keep quiet. They ordered me to surrender my phone and lie on the floor as they ransacked the house," she said.

Atieno said they threatened to kill her if she raised the alarm. Days later, she reported the matter to the chief who asked her to record a statement with the police.

At another home at Wathorego centre, the gang threatened to shoot anyone who raised the alarm.

One family lost a home theatre, TV set and three mobile phones in an incident the police say they only learnt about through their interaction with residents.

“I recognised one of the people who attacked my house. He warned he would kill every member of my family if I reported the matter to the police," the victim said.

Residents said the gang members pretended to be boda boda operators only to take advantage of their passengers after dropping them off at their homes.

George Onyango, a landlord in Mamboleo, said he has suffered losses because of the gang.

"Tenants have been vacating my houses because of insecurity caused by this gang. I am unable to get new tenants because word has gone round that this area in unsafe," he said.

Area OCPD Mechack Kiptum said he was yet to receive any reports about the attacks but promised to find a way to address the matter.

"No one has reported any attacks to us but we are working with local administrators to ensure the perpetrators are punished.”

Opepo Administration Police CampCrimeInsecurityKisumu County