Mother desperate as teen daughter remains in the hands of criminal gang
Dorothy*, not her real name, recalls the day her 13-year-old daughter arrived home with beads of blood cascading down her legs after allegedly being defiled by members of the dreaded Wakali Kwanza criminal gang in Kisauni Mombasa
Tears roll down her cheeks uncontrollably as she unfolds the ordeal her two daughters have encountered in the hands of this vicious gang claimed to be carrying out its training at a beach club in Mkomani and Manyani valley in Mishomoroni. The gang believed to be the most notorious in Mombasa is also said to have its base at Soko Mjinga Kisauni.
Residents of Kisauni allege the gang members are influential and have a wide network of informers in the area leaving the residents in fear of talking about them. Those who talk about the gang do so in hushed tones for fear of being victimised.
Sources say community policing and Nyumba Kumi initiatives have failed to work in the area since no one is willing to volunteer security information for fear of victimization by the outlawed gang that is said to have sprouted up more than 15 other gangs that operate in Mlaleo, Barsheba, Bakarani, Mtopanga, Bamburi Mwisho and Bombolulu area.
Dorothy says her daughters aged 13 and 15 were allegedly kidnapped by members of the gang who held them captive and subjected them to months of sexual slavery since December 2016.
Efforts to trace her daughters have been futile even after she reported the matter at the Nyali Police Station under Occurrence Book (OB) number 04/DEC/ 2016. Nothing has been done even after she claimed to know one of the suspects who is at teacher at a primary school and is well known to her.
Dorothy claims that police officers at the station who recorded her statements advised her to go look for the minors and then report back to the station once she had found their whereabouts.
“When I went to the station, to report my daughters as missing they told me to go look for the children and get back to them once I find them,” explains Dorothy.
She continues to live in agony knowing that one of her daughters is suffering in the hands of a criminal gang.
“They took away the older girl in November last year and by the time she was kidnapped again in December she had been impregnated by one of the gang members and this time I fear the worst for he,” says Dorothy.
Additionally she too fears for her life after the gang members raided her rented house in Free Water area and threatened her with dire consequences should she continue to pursue the matter with the police.
“One Sunday night more than 10 members of the gang raided my house and ordered me to strip naked. They beat me mercilessly and warned that should I continue pursuing the matter with the police they would come back and kill me,” she notes.
No suspect has been arrested in connection with incident but Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Kisauni Christopher Rotich said police were still investigating the matter, adding that “once investigations are over the suspects would be arrested and arraigned in a court of law”.
“We are aware of the case, however the complainant has not been cooperative with us since we advised her to come and show us some of the suspects whom she claims are close relatives and so we are still at the investigations level,” said Rotich.
What has puzzled the residents is that the area is only a stone throw away from Kisauni’s Dog Section which hosts the OCPD and all senior police officials in charge of Kisauni.
Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa has on several occasions threatened to wipe out the gang but the threats have remained just remain that, threats.
“We know them and let them be warned that we are zeroing in on them. Let them come and try again we shall siaga (crush) them” has been Marwa’s trademark comment during press briefings on security.
According to Kisauni residents, despite the warnings, the gang seems undeterred and has continued to execute mischief with impunity.
The gang is said to have found women as their soft target especially in public transport as the gang hijacks matatus during the day and at night. The gang has been on record over claims of harassing women by allegedly ordering them to strip so that they suck their breasts if found without cash and other valuables.
“They walk in groups of about 10-15 members, wielding knives and pangas,” said a woman who once fell a victim to the gang in Kisauni.