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Fear grips village as thugs take over dam

A dreaded dam in Gachie has saved many a gambler, gangster or drug peddler’s life as the outlaws routinely swim away from police ambushes.

The dam, which is a no-go zone if one is unaccompanied, is a common playground for dozens of young men who gamble and peddle drugs on various spots on the footpath that goes round it.

Murky waters

The footpath which is between the dam and a very steep hillside provides an ideal position for a police ambush.

Police and thugs alike take advantage of the strategic positioning to pounce on their targets.

“The police can ambush the thugs from both sides, forcing them to jump into the water, but most pedestrians when cornered would rather get robbed than jump into the murky waters,” Philip Okumu, a resident.

Okumu said the police routinely ambush the young men who are normally high on drugs, but they still manage to jump into the water to swim to safety or worse.

“Last week, three of them jumped after the police ambushed them, but one did not make it across,” said Okumu.

Male company

The police at Gigiri station confirmed retrieving the body of Edwin Lumwachi from the dam, but said they were not sure about the circumstances surrounding his death.

Lumwachi’s family, however, denied that he jumped into the dam trying to escape a police dragnet. He was buried in his rural Kakamega home on Saturday.

Okumu’s wife Agnes, who usually works in the fields adjacent to the dam, said it risky for women to venture into the area without male company.

“For women, it is terrible because the thugs can rape you. The worst bit is that even if you scream, no one will dare come to your rescue,” said Agnes.