Nakuru: Police arrest 78 suspects, seize crude weapons in crackdown on criminal gangs

Nakuru County Commissioner Loyford Kibaara, along with Nakuru County Police Commander Zacharia Kimani and other security officers, inspect some of the crude weapons at Kaptembwo Police Station in Nakuru West on June 7, 2023.[Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Police have arrested 78 people linked to criminal gang groups that have been terrorizing Nakuru residents over the past three weeks.

Nakuru County Commissioner Loyford Kibaara confirmed that among those arrested is Solomon Mburu, a suspected leader of the Mauki gang, a splinter group allied to the Confirm gang.

"The suspected leader was found with crude weapons in an attempt to commit a felony. He will be charged before Nakuru Law Courts with several charges, including being a member of an outlawed gang," said Mr. Kibaara.

Mr. Kibaara stated that previous reports indicated Mburu had been arrested before but charged with a petty offense, which resulted in his release. However, the police are now building a serious case against him.

The weapons displayed at Kaptembwo Police Station included machetes, knives, blunt metal objects, bows and arrows, hammers, and an electric taser, among others.

"We also recovered four mobile phones suspected to have been stolen, SIM cards, and a marijuana seedling found in one of the houses," said Kibaara.

This comes after the agency replaced the Rhonda Police Station OCS following the murder of three people last weekend.

According to Kibaara, the murders were a result of ongoing battles and revenge among the Mungiki, Confirm, Mauki, and TZ gangs.

Kibaara emphasized that despite the arrested individuals being teenagers, they had involved themselves in dangerous activities.

"They are involved in dangerous crimes and are carrying dangerous weapons, including potentially poisoned arrows," said Kibaara.

Kibaara placed blame on police officers, elders, and Nyumba Kumi leaders for not fulfilling their duties, suggesting they may have been involved with the criminals.

He assured residents of Ponda Mali, Top 10, Sewage, Stima Line, Jasho, Posta, and Grogon, where the crimes were rampant, that any officers colluding with criminals would be removed and interdicted.

"Residents of the areas have threatened to take matters into their own hands after noting that the police were lagging behind in cracking down on the gangs," said Kibaara.

His sentiments were echoed by County Police Commander Zachary Kimani, who stated that the police would not relent until the gangs in Nakuru were eradicated.

Kimani said the police would camp in the high-risk areas not only to protect residents but also to combat the criminals.

"We urge residents to report any incidents to the police without fear of victimization because their identities will be kept confidential," said Kimani.

The arrest 78 individuals brings the total number of arrests to 380 over the last three weeks.