Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome. PHOTO | EVANS HABILNairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL
By FRED MUKINDA, [email protected] 

Residents of Jogoo Road Estate in Nairobi’s Eastlands are talking about one of the best police stakeouts, culminating in the gunning of three gangsters on Friday.

Undercover officers arrived at the estate at 8am but remained unnoticeable until 6pm when a fierce shoot-out ensued.

All the time, one of the undercover officers walked around the estate dressed in an overall similar to those worn by Kenya Power technicians, complete with the company’s logo.

Another one sought casual employment at a nearby construction site and spent the entire duration carrying bags of sand on his back, from the ground to the upper floors of a building under construction.

LAY-ABOUTS

Two others whiled away the hours chatting with the estate’s lay-abouts. In one instance, they bargained hard for a bowl of soup and settled down to consume it in one of the many kiosks.

Another of the undercover officers sat on a wooden bench at a shop, sipping soda and watching over a carton box.

Minutes before 6pm, six men, including the “construction worker,” rushed to the carton box, dipped their hands inside and drew out firearms. Some grabbed pistols while others took AK 47 assault rifles.

A shoot-out ensued. After five minutes, three suspected gangsters lay dead on the busy street that connects Jogoo Road to the estate.

But it is the demeanour of the undercover officers that left the residents in awe. The officers did not look like common policemen. One of them spotted dreadlocks and, throughout the stakeout, chewed miraa (khat).

BODABODA OPERATOR

Another had an unkempt beard and wore baggy trousers and an oversize T-shirt. Yet another sat on his motorcycle all day, posing as a bodaboda operator but did not call out for customers.

As gunshots rent the air, uniformed officers from the nearby Jogoo Road Police Station arrived in a marked car but the undercover team waved them away. They swiftly retreated.

A resident identified one of the felled men. “This is Mose. He sat beside me last Sunday right here at Pewa Bar. We were watching the Manchester (United and Manchester City) match last Sunday,” he said.

Nairobi Police Commander Japheth Koome said the three were part of a gang involved in robberies and killings in the city.

“We recovered three firearms and ammunition from them. This was through intelligence. A member of the public tipped us. They were planning a robbery,” he said.

The Sunday Nation learnt that the gang met at Pewa Bar before the shooting.