Residents of Rongai sub-county have accused police of having a hand in the rise of crime rates locally.
They said crime had been on the rise in Mangu, Rafikis, Lusaka, Kayanet and Chergei villages in the past two weeks. The residents claimed gangsters used a Toyota Probox with two different number plates to raid homes and businesses.
“It is worrying that instead of police officers boosting security, they are the ones colluding with criminals to raid our homes and steal our property,” Isaac Buret, a village elder in Kayanet, told The Standard.
“Livestock in our localities are stolen during the day, but they cannot be recovered because they are driven away using different routes.”
Wilson Songor, a small-scale farmer in Kayanet, is one of the latest victims. The 23-year-old’s homestead was raided on Saturday night.
“I woke up on Sunday morning and found my sheep and goats missing from my paddock,” he told The Standard. Mr Songor reported the incident at Menengai police station but was allegedly dismissed by officers who said Kayanet was out of their jurisdiction.
“It is heartbreaking that my livestock that I purchased using my little savings were stolen, and that police and local administrators have remained reluctant to help me recover them,” he said.
On Saturday residents of Lusaka, an area that lies just a kilometre from Menengai police station, impounded the said car after a local businessman raised the alarm at 11pm. Senior officers who were called to the scene said the vehicle belonged to Menengai police station and its occupants were on regular patrol. Moses Karwenje, a resident, claimed the officers were hostile.
“We called each other after we heard one of the business premises being opened and when they realised they would be overpowered they shot in the air as they fled, abandoning the vehicle,” he said.
Residents now want all officers at the station transferred.
Locals have formed WhatsApp groups in a bid to help elders and Nyumba Kumi initiative leaders fight crime.
Rongai sub-county police commander Richard Rotich told The Standard there had been complaints about a Probox being used in criminal activities. He, however, did not confirm or deny reports that it belonged to Menengai police station.
“We have numerous complaints of criminals using a Probox to steal livestock, but nobody has reported to us if the crime is committed by our officers,” he said.
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