Police nab gang that steals food in disco matanga

By - Jan 1st 1970

Residents of Khwisero Constituency Kakamega are living in fear following the emergence of a deadly gang known as Paka Mang’aa terrorizing residents at night and stealing food stuff at funerals.

The criminal gang of 20 members is said to be targeting residents at night raiding homes and funerals, stealing food, and beating mourners and residents before running away.

The gang has been said to camp along the road and at bus stations stealing from passengers who are travelling at night.

Additionally, residents said the gang poses like mourners and locals attending the funeral before getting out machetes and stealing.

In the latest incident that happened a week ago in Kisa South ward, the gang stormed one of the funerals and stole all the Chapatis and tea that were meant for the mourners.

According to Jemima Okano, a resident, the criminal gang of 15 young men stormed the funeral while armed with machetes scaring away mourners before running away with chapatis and tea.

“They stormed the funeral at night and asked where the food was while armed with machetes. They took the food and threatened anyone who stood in their way. They destroyed a few things before they left,” said Okano.

Okano now calls upon the security personnel to intervene and ensure their life and safety is guaranteed.

“We are living in fear and yet we have police officers around, the gang looks so deadly and we just hope the government will intervene before things get out of hand because even sleeping is a problem, and having a funeral is a risky affair because we fear they might come and still everything that has been prepared for the purposes of funeral, “said Okano.

Okano however urged the government to implement the ban on ‘disco matanga’ which she said is fueling the existence of the gang.

“We have seen in some instances where the gang has robbed people even on the road, entered people’s homes pretending to be mourners before stealing food in the kitchen and we have nothing to do because they behave as if they are above the law,” said Philip Juliana, a resident.

“Imagine someone just comes by force and enters your house to steal things like food, and household items and threatens your life and later goes away like nothing has happened even if some members eat food while inside the house.”

Five arrests

However, Kisa South Chief Florence Afune said they received a tip from the residents, and with the help of police officers they have managed to arrest five members of the gang and they are in police custody at Khwisero Police Station assisting police with the investigation to nab the rest of the gang.

“We have managed to arrest five members of the Paka Mang’aa gang and we are in pursuit of another 15 members. This is after locals tipped us that they were being terrorised at night by a youthful criminal gang. We are urging residents to cooperate and share any information about the group so that we can get rid of the gang,” said Afune.

Afune warned residents from attending funerals at night so that they isolate those found outside at night and able to deal with the gang.

“We want our people to desist from disco matanga so that we can be able to deal with the gang which pretends to be mourners and locals attending the funeral,” she said.

Last week while addressing a security meeting at the Mundaha chief’s camp, Kakamega County Commissioner John Ondego assured residents that police had launched a manhunt for members of the gang who give locals a sleepless night.

“We have received reports and complaints about the gang and I have instructed all security agencies to step up investigations and ensure the so-called Paka Mang’aa gang is disbanded as quickly as possible,” said Ondego.

The County Commissioner wondered how a gang could terrorize locals and steal valuables at home and in funerals and continue existing.


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