Parents of teenage gang members who terrorized residents of Bashir area in Bamburi, Mombasa risk arrest to help in the ongoing investigations into the Monday, May 10 night attacks.
Giving the order, Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo directed chiefs and other administrative officials to track down parents of the teenage suspects arrested in connection to the attacks where machete welding gangs terrorized residents indiscriminately.
“Any teenager who commits crime and is under 18 should be arrested alongside the parents. I hereby direct chiefs of Mtopanga and Kongowea to track the suspects’ parents and hand them over to police latest by tomorrow (Wednesday, May 12) failure to which they will lose their jobs.” Kitiyo said while speaking at a village baraza in Soweto area on Tuesday, May 11.
The attackers said to be twenty in number, unleashed terror on residents at around 7.00pm on Monday before robbing the victims.
“They emerged from Soweto graveyard armed with long machetes . When they arrived here at Bashir they started hacking people . We tried to retaliate but they overpowered and hurt some of us in the process.
“We called for reinforcement from police and they were dispersed,” said Leornard Kai a bodaboda operator who sustained injuries on his left arm during the attack.
The Mombasa County Commissioner ordered for detailed profiling of all hardware stores selling machetes and daggers in Mombasa in a move aimed at monitoring characters behind frequent purchasing of the said weapons.
The move, Kitiyo said is part of a raft of measures aimed at dismantling the network of vicious criminal gangs in Mombasa.
“From today whenever a crime is committed, police will deal with the suspects while chiefs will look for their parents. I also direct chiefs to profile the list of hardware stores and types of machetes they sale. There are some machetes which are clearly killer weapons and if we allow them to continue being in hands of these boys it will be dangerous.”
Kitiyo further directed hardware owners to record names of anyone purchasing a machete stating that it is an offence to sell machete to children under the age of 18.
The County Commissioner said security agents will conduct a door to door crackdown to inspect all hardware stores and houses adding people with weapon-like machetes will not be spared.
Residents say the gang is behind several waves of gory attacks that come just before Eid festivities in the past. Those who spoke to K24 digital said the trend has been recurrent towards every Eid season.
“We always expect these attacks during public holidays, especially when innocent people in a crowd are heading home after the end of the day,” Kasim Yusuf a resident of Soweto, Mombasa told K24 digital.
Some of the most common gangs include Shiranga, Young Thug, Watalia and Wajukuu wa bibi and in Kisauni they include Wakali Wao and Wakali Kwanza. Police say they arrested two suspects in connection with the attacks