Covid-19 has unquestionably presented an era-defining challenge to Kenya’s national security. While everyone looked at the pandemic as only a public health issue, the pandemic quickly transformed into an economic problem leading to security, governance, and development concerns.
Perhaps the most notable surge in crime was the violence that has been meted on the public by the Kenyan Police ever since the pandemic reached our borders. Police brutality has resulted in run-ins locals resulting in the death of innocent Kenyans.
The death of a 13-year-old boy following stray police bullets in Kiamaiko, Nairobi illustrates the inhumane scale of violence police has unleashed on poor Kenyans under the guise of enforcing Covid-19 containment measures.
Walking alone in Nairobi even in broad daylight now means you are risking getting robbed or mauled by thugs or the police. Both after the little money you have.
Cases of theft in the Nairobi Suburbs have plummeted, just last week DCI detectives based in Kilimani arrested two daylight robbers caught on camera stealing from a lone pedestrian along Lenana Road in Nairobi. The thugs were tracked down to their hideouts in Kawangware, Gatina, and Pangani estates and apprehended.
Such cases of robbery with violence which are perhaps the last resort for the youth who have been left jobless by the pandemic have been on the rise across the country with thugs targeting liquor stores, M-Pesa shops, lone pedestrians and now, the thieves are even breaking into residential homes.
Last week on Tuesday, a combined team of detectives from the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau based at the DCI headquarters and detectives based at the Nairobi regional DCI office arrested five suspects on suspicion of being behind a spate of robberies around Parklands.
On Thursday last week, detectives based in Nyali, Mombasa arrested nine suspects of car break-ins and theft and recovered three vehicles suspected to be their means of transport during their criminal operations.
While some thefts are well orchestrated and planned out, a good section of these crimes are coming from idle high school kids who have been home since the president ordered all schools closed back in March.
Form 2 Kamiti Secondary School………………… Githurai………waya… pic.twitter.com/gfyWvZEUk7
— Kawangware Finest™️ (@cbs_ke) June 17, 2020
With the President set to review the stringent measures that have currently brought the country to a standstill on Monday, perhaps the easing of these directives will go a long way to restore a little bit of safety in the streets.
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