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Gang preying on worshippers

Three churches in a city estate have been forced to stop their night and early morning prayers following a spate of attacks on their worshipers by a gang of criminals.

The churches, African Christian Churches and Schools, the Divine Mercy Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), all in Kariobangi estate have now resorted to concluding their prayer sessions by 5 pm to ensure their members get home early.

In the latest case, a member of the PCEA church was seriously injured and admitted to a Nairobi hospital after attacked and robbed by members of the gang as he came from a prayer session after dusk.

Appreciating culture

According to the local priest at the PCEA church, Rev. John Gicheru, the criminals hide at a disused building near the three churches and pounced on worshipers walking home after attending evening prayers.

“The building harbours several thugs who pretend to be street children but rob people coming from evening or night prayers. They have robbed people and even raped young girls.” He said.

Over the last one month, the thugs, who are usually armed with crude weapons, have staged over twenty attacks on churchgoers, he adds.

A resident, Joel Mbugua said construction of the building stopped seven years ago, providing a perfect hiding place for the thugs.

The attacks have seen majority of the worshippers shunning the night prayers popularly known as Kesha and the early morning worship sessions, Rev Gicheru laments.

“Several members of the church have been robbed and wounded along this street,” he said.

Buruburu Police boss Richard Kerich under whose jurisdiction the churches fall says none of the incidents has been reported to his office but promises to take action.

“I will send police officers to the area to arrest the robbers,” he told Nairobi News.