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Daily Nation : February 16th 2014
SUNDAY NATION February 16, 2014 Sunday Review 21 Land feuds prevent hundreds of IDPs from settling down BY JAMES KARIUKI @kamaukariuki_ Kamaukariuki@gmail.com Camps for internally displaced per- sons (IDP) in Nakuru that housed thousands of families are yet to be closed after wrangles emerged over the farms recently acquired for them by the government. Although a large number of IDPs movied to the new farms during the resettling schemes, some who claim to be un-profiled are still in the camps while integrated IDPs are bemoaning their exclusion from the programme that saw many resettled and others paid Sh400,000 to rebuild their lives. The government’s plan to resettle 823 internally displaced families from New Canaan IDP camp at Pipeline Nakuru on newly acquired farms in Njoro and Subukia has failed after court cases were filed blocking the subdivision of the two farms. New Canaan IDP chairman Paul Thiong’o said the cases had reversed major gains made by the government to “wipe out” the post-election violence camps owing to feuds among the land seller families over how to share the millions of shillings they received from the government. Mr Thiong’o called for negotia- QUICK FACTS 65 from Muhu camp are yet to get land to settle down. Not yet settled Government has paid 102 elderly persons above Sh400,000 to IDPs to start a new life. Some 1,800 IDP families need food supplies tions between government officials and the farms’ owners to try and end the stalemate. The delay by government land agencies to subdivide the land and issue title deeds to individual beneficiaries has exacerbated the situation that would enable the families rebuild their lives by engaging in incomegenerating activities. National IDP Leaders Forum na- tional treasurer Beatrice Nyokabi and the New Canaan camp chairman told Sunday Nation there was a need for the government to engage the families and create a seamless working environment between government departments to speed up the proc- CRIME | Statistics paint a picture of residents besieged every night by armed robbers who strike at will When the leafy suburbs become a security nightmare BY KENFREY KIBERENGE @KenKiberenge email@example.com AND ANGIRA ZADOCK @ZadockAngira firstname.lastname@example.org I The ‘cost benefit’ analysis makes those living in upmarket estates high level targets because of the perception that they are wealthy” James Ndung’u, security expert t is every Nairobian’s dream to live in a mansion or bungalow in the city’s swanky estates. But police records now indicate you could actually be safer in an apartment or flat in the middle and lower income estates than in the posh estates such as Runda, Nyari, Karen or Kileleshwa. The statistics paint a picture of residents besieged every night by armed robbers who strike at will and make away with huge amounts of money – in foreign and Kenyan currencies − jewellery, household goods and cars, among other valuables. Nairobi County deputy police commander Moses Ombati argues that residents who live in posh estates are perceived to be wealthier than those in less affluent areas hence the regular attacks. Also, he says, community policing has not been effective in such estates. According to Mr Ombati, most robbers are from slums, who conduct robberies in upmarket areas before going back. “We have cases of househelps and guards colluding with criminals to rob their employers,” said Mr Ombati. From senior government offi- cials to diplomats, expatriates and businessmen, no one is spared in the attacks that happen from as early as 8 pm. The fortified high walls, in- stalled with electric fences, the security guards and the super strong gates, doors and window grilles to be found in most of the premises in the upmarket estates mean little to the gangs. The grilles are cut using special snips; in some cases, the thugs use home-made explosives to scare people into opening doors. The commonest approach em- ployed by robbers is to ambush the residents by their gates. And, unlike in apartments or flats where the proximity to police stations and bases provides a chance for the police to respond to alerts, it is different in the upper class estates where houses can be kilometres apart, meaning the tenants are on their own. This provides the thugs ample time to ransack homes. In one instance last year, thugs loaded all the household goods from the house of a senior government official in Runda. And according to Mr James Ndung’u, a project manager at Arms Control and Policing at Safe World, the upmarket mansions are often isolated, making the risk of attracting attention, once subdued, much lower than in apartments where group reaction may scare thugs. “The ‘cost benefit’ analysis makes those living in the upmarket high level targets because of the perception that the residents are wealthy and often keep huge sums of money, jewellery, expensive computing devices, like smart phones, tablets and laptops, and other valuables which are easily marketable in the now-complicated black market,” he says. The security expert also says where there is private security, inside jobs are common where guards and housekeepers collaborate with robbers. Police records show that a rob- bery incident has happened every night in the exclusive estates in the last two months. Conversely, FILE | NATION A private residence in an upmarket estate. Police reports show that there are more robbery incidents on average in such areas as compared to less affluent estates. Below: Police officers at a crime scene. few robberies have been reported to the police from the less affluent estates within the same period. The latest of such attacks hap- pened at Mimosa Grove estate in Runda on Thursday night last week when three men armed with improvised explosives – a bicycle wire and match stick phosphorus − broke into the house of Margaret Kamene Matheka, an auditor with the Education Ministry. They stole two mobile phones and a Toyota Rav 4. On Tuesday of the same week, Felister Muli, who works at the Ministry of Public Works, was waylaid by four thugs – two armed with pistols − outside her house in Tabere Crescent in Kileleshwa. She was robbed of Sh24,000, an iPhone and forced to reveal her ATM and M-Pesa PINs where they withdrew Sh20,000 from each of the account in the 10 pm incident. The thugs then abandoned her along Rhapta Road and drove off in her Toyota Prado. Last Monday, seven thugs armed with an AK-47 rifle and a pistol stole household goods worth Sh805,000 from Dr Saaio Mauro’s house in Miotoni Ridge in Karen. They also stole Sh9,000, $300 (Sh25,500) and €600 Euros (Sh70,800). The same night, four thugs shot and critically injured a guard at Saminaa Mohammed’s home in Karen during a 1 am robbery incident. They stole Sh1,000, six mobile phones and jewellery. February 8 appears to have been the busiest for the thieves. At 4.45 am, six men armed with crude weapons cut through the kai-apple fence of Briton Jim Cheatle’s homestead in Runda Estate but did not steal anything after the alarm went off. Earlier that night, three men, also armed with crude weapons, raided the home of Mr Pierre Parson at Pepo Lane in Karen at 3.10 am and stole a CPU, two wedding rings and a phone. They injured one of the guests on their way out. At 1 am, businessman Alfayaz Sundaji was ambushed in his Range Rover just after the security guard opened the gate to his Royal Park home on Rhapta Road. The gang ransacked his house and stole Sh350,000, $4,000 (Sh340,000), two iPads, a laptop and a log book. The previous night, Fardorisa Yusuf had been blocked from behind outside her home on Githunguri Road in Kileleshwa by two armed men in a saloon car, who drove off in her car. On January 13, armed thugs broke into radio presenter Ms Caroline Mutoko’s Nyari residence in Nairobi and stole household and electronic goods 3 Reported robberies in upmarket Nairobi that occurred on February 8, according to police records and other valuables. The five-man gang is said to have scaled a perimeter wall, attacked and tied guards who were on duty at the compound. Police said the gangsters cut the grilles before accessing the house. “We are still in the process of finding out how they cut the strong metal,” said Gigiri deputy police boss Alice Kimeli. And on November 17, last year, an Australian national was shot dead at his residence in Runda, Nairobi. Nairobi County Commander Benson Kibue said that about 10 attackers, six of them in Administration Police uniform, raided the residence of Patrick John Richer, 39, and shot him twice in the chest at close range. Police are still investigating whether the suspects in AP uniform were indeed officers. His wife Leslie Richer was not injured in the 1.40 am robbery, in which the attackers stole a TV set, phones and two laptops. The deceased was a creative di- rector with TBWA Flame Tree, an international advertising agency. The house had been the target of three different robberies in the last one year. 690,000 Highest amount of cash stolen in a single incident of those reported in the past week ess of resettlement. “We commend the government for purchasing the farms for us and resettling us, but some of our members are still languishing in abject poverty as legal battles have emerged holding back the process after the courts imposed injunctions to await determination of the cases,” Mr Thiong’o said. Ms Nyokabi said there was a need for the government to provide food to 1,301 integrated families living in Gilgil and another 530 families living in transitional camps, saying food rations had been reduced by half as the families await relocation to their new farms.
February 15th 2014
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