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Robbers violently gather hay in the rains

NAIROBI
By Amos Kareithi | May 4th 2012

By Amos Kareithi
Rain has never been a major problem to residents of Bahati, who like other Nairobi residents, have learnt to cope with the occasionally flooded streets, and pools of stagnant water in potholed sections.
Although the residents have to contend with the nasty traffic snarl-ups along Jogoo Road, they count themselves luckier for they do not have to wait for five or six hours detained in stationary vehicles in pounding rain before reaching home.
The estate’s proximity to the city centre and reasonable rent has always attracted tenants wishing to have easy access to other parts of Nairobi.
These days, however, every time the heavens open up gushing out torrents of raindrops, the residents of the estate have to contend with a new kind of storm.
A group of five youngsters who are dressed in trendy designer wear have devised ways of literally making hay while it rains as they prowl along the streets using the rain as their cover.
The young men, all in their twenties, have learnt that when it rains, the roads in the entire Nairobi city clogs up with traffic jam, making it impossible for police and other emergency service providers to respond to distress calls.
This gang has been prowling the streets accompanied by a vicious dog, which they unleash on victims who are slow in surrendering their valuables as demanded.
“A few weeks ago, when I went for a nature call in the toilet out of the house, some thugs locked me from outside. They then raided my house and terrorised my wife,” Denis Muna Kimemia told The County Weekly.
Unleashed dogs
On realising that his house was under siege, Mr Muna screamed for help but the thugs unleashed the four dogs on his wife, Caroline Kiama when she tried to prevent them from stealing from the house.
“I was bitten and seriously wounded by the fierce dogs which attacked me. As I fought off the dogs, the thugs made off with Sh35,000  stolen from my husband’s jacket and our mobile phones,” she explains.
By the time Muna was freed from the toilet, he found his wife bleeding from multiple dog bites. The thugs had already escaped with his television set and money. He had to raise money to rush his wife to health facility in Jericho and then to Kenyatta National Hospital for specialised treatment.
The couple says is not the only incident is an estate they had always loved owing to the affordable rents.
“Last week, when it was raining heavily, the gang sauntered into my butchery. They entered as individuals and started issuing instructions. One wanted a kilo of meat, another half. As I hurried to satisfy their varied tastes, they all acted in uniformity,” recalls John Mbita.
The gangsters, as Mbita later realised, removed five pistols from under their clothes and ordered him to surrender the day’s collection.
He says he complied and surrendered Sh4, 500 and his mobile phone to the youths who swiftly left the premises.
Travel far
Five minutes later as the rain continued pounding, the gangsters invaded an M-Pesa outlet and stole unspecified amount of money.
“They know it is impossible for screams or shouts for help to travel far in the rains. They have been using the rain as a cover for their evil schemes. We are suffering in silence,” Mary Tatu, a shop attendant, says.
Another gang of four men has devised a new method of ensuring total compliance from their victims whom they encounter along the streets.
Although the incident was reported at Jogoo road Police station, no arrests have been made and the residents are now living in fear.
“This wave started about three months ago. The young thugs are striking between 7pm and 7:30pm. They are armed and dangerous and will stop at nothing once they target a premise,” said a police officer, who sought anonymity.

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