Nairobi News


Posh estate where armed gangsters rule without fear

How gangsters eluded Mr Eliud Owaro’s elaborate security system twice in six months still baffles him, his family, friends and neighbours at the posh Nalepo estate.

After an attack by gunmen months ago as he pulled over at his home, he scaled up his security but on Sunday morning, he was attacked again.

The security measures that cost more than Sh1.5 million include five German shepherd dogs, a 9ft wall with a razor wire and an electric fence, motion sensor lights overlooking his quarter-acre compound plus an alarm response system provided by the G4S security firm.

In spite of these, four matchete-wielding gangsters got into his compound and terrorised him for more than half an hour.

Almost half of the 250 compounds around where the average value of a house is Sh20 million have been attacked at least once in the last five years in a pattern that points to a particular gang.

24-hour stay

They usually strike after a new owner has settled in their house for about a week.

Despite the similarities of these attacks, none has ever been successfully stopped nor has anyone been arrested.  Police only arrive to take statements long after the gangsters have left.

One resident, Reuben Matthews said a lawyer neighbour stayed in his new house for less than 24 hours in 2005. He was attacked the same night he moved in after spending almost two years constructing the house.

“The next morning, he packed his belongings and left and has never been seen since. It is like nobody is interested in buying the house so it has been left to a worker,” said Mr Matthews.

A teacher was recently robbed in his home in broad daylight. The gang gained entry into his compound and stole electronics and money before escaping on motorbikes.

On the same night, a new six-bedroomed house with a 9ft wall and security alarm whose owner had not moved in was broken into.

As a result of the crime wave, the value of land in the area has dropped sharply in the last five years.  A quarter an acre which used to cost Sh2 million in the early 2000s is now valued at Sh1.5 million as potential buyers shy away.