Outrage in Gatundu North as vandals s***l metals in churches, graves

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 10 Jan, 2024 15:15 | 2 mins read
A cemetery. PHOTO/Pexels

Churches in Kirai village, Gatundu North, Kiambu County have expressed outrage over increased break-ins and theft of various items from houses of worship.

Over the last month, vandals are reported to have broken into several churches and ransacked them.

In the latest incidents, Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG) and Anglican Churches of Kenya (ACK) have been left counting huge losses after the robbers made off with iron sheets, metals, wiring materials and musical instruments.

The thugs are said to have broken the padlock and bolts on the churches’ doors before accessing the buildings.

According to Peter Ndirangu, a technician at KAG church, the criminals recently vandalized the church’s lavatory iron sheets leaving them bare and broke into the building windows to gain entry into the church where they stole assorted metallic and wiring items.

“They recently destroyed our toilet roofs and made off with the iron sheets. They have been periodically breaking into this church as they had earlier stolen metallic items and destroyed the entire wiring system. We are now worshipping in fear and have incurred a lot of losses,” Ndirangu said.

Raphael Ngige, a member of the church, said that despite reporting the criminal incidents, the situation has not changed and no suspect has been arrested in connection to the crime.

He regretted that a ready market for the stolen scrap metals has fanned the theft that has also left villagers in fear as the criminals are breaking in using crude weapons and can do any form of harm.

“We have reported the matter to the police but nothing has changed. The crime has taken us back five steps and it's now becoming hard for church management to convince adherents to contribute towards the purchase of stolen items. It is time the government does the needful to have the criminals arrested,” Ngige said.

Reverend Esther Wanjeri, the priest in charge of ACK Mang’u parish under Thika diocese, told journalists that the criminals recently broke into the Kirai church office but did not steal anything.

They proceeded to vandalize the church’s metallic toilets which they made off with, a situation that continues to inflict fear among churches in the area.

“We have suffered a lot in the hands of these criminals who are leaving nothing to chance to enjoy the fruits of what our members have invested in and the government should now help us stop the theft from escalating further," Wanjeri said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Peter Ndung’u, the Kirai ACK church chairman who called on the government to beef up security in the area and rein in scrap metal dealers who have been facilitating the crime.

Shockingly, the vandalism has further plagued various graves in the village where the criminals have destroyed and stolen grills used to make the tombs.

According to Curtis Ng’anga, the vandals are not leaving anything metallic at the graves, a craze he said has left many metallically fenced vaults bare.

“We cannot fathom what we are seeing here. They have stolen everything metallic and are now destroying graves whose metals are sold to scrap metal dealers. We cannot understand how people lost even the fear of the dead to do what they have been doing. Something must be amiss!” said Ng’ang’a.

The irked locals called on the government to move with speed to have the criminals arrested and prosecuted.

Related Topics