Residents of Dandora and Mathare estates have revealed how an extortionist ring has been forcing them to contribute for burial arrangements of suspected robbers shot dead by the police.
The residents also revealed that they are always reluctant to join mourners whose family members and friends have been felled by the police but again the youths force them.
“Whenever suspected robbers are killed within the estate their accomplices and friends harass us by forcing us to contribute for the funeral arrangements,” said Edwin Nyarobo*, a resident of Dandora.
“Then the youths will always expect you to attend meetings prior the burial and if you fail they will brand you a traitor,” he added.
Winfred Wamuyu*, another resident of the estate, claims that two weeks ago she was forcefully asked to contribute for one of the five robbers who were shot dead at Dandora dumpsite by police officers.
“They ask people to contribute so that they let you to proceed to your house. They don’t care whether you contribute everyday as long as they get money,” she said.
The same scenario plays itself out in Mathare estate. Mr Alfred Ochiel* who lives in the estate says the youths even go from house to house demanding for contributions.
“I strongly suspect that they use such opportunities to identify their targets. Police officers should do something about that,” he said.
Mr Ochiel says he is now considering moving out because of persistent harassment by the extortionists.
The rampant crime in these neighbourhoods perhaps explains the rise in incidents of suspected criminals being gunned down by the police.
In recent weeks, suspected Gaza members living in Dandora have particularly seen no peace.
This month alone, more than six suspected robbers have been shot dead by the police.
*Editor’s notes: Names of sources have been changed to protect their identities