Unless you’re a time traveller who just dropped out of Siberia or Lubumbashi where internet is yet to be discovered, then you have heard about the outcry in the Nairobi CBD. Since the year began, the place has turned into a beehive, with hawkers flocking the streets as well as street kids. The latest menace causing an uproar, however, is not the hawkers or street kids but the gangs that are terrorizing anybody.
On 9th of January this year, a video of a man being mugged as passers-by ran for safety went viral. Since then it is a trend that has repeated itself and each day there is a victim crying over going through the same ordeal. The gangs are always organized, in groups of about ten, looking around and calculating how to get away with your valuables.
The muggers are stationed at specific places especially outside forex bureaus, M-Pesa shops and Bank ATMs. Different residents have cited different places as where the muggers position themselves but the truth is they don’t necessarily hit on you immediately they see you, they have to group themselves and then escort you without you noticing. Before you know it, they have surrounded you as you walk and you have no place to run to.
Some of the hotspots include the corner at Kimathi Street, Tuskys Imara area, Embassava bus stage, the lane coming from Jamia Mall, Luthuli Avenue and River Road. These groups are also alleged to hang around KFC and Nation Centre.
According to Ureport, the top 5 crime hotspots in CBD are; Temple Road, Hatika Road, Railways Bus Terminus-Haile Selassie Avenue, KTDA Moi Avenue and Racecourse Road. While these crimes are committed at any time of the day, the peak hours are 4-6 in the morning and 7-11 pm.
It is important to note that expensive jewellery, weaves, watches, laptop bags are a ticket to trouble as the thieves are targeting those items. While some people blame it on the increase of hawkers in the city, some attribute it to the increased Boda Boda businesses in the city centre. This led to the banning of the latter from CBD but theboda-bodass refused to obey that order. Also, Nairobi County government has formed a special squad expected to deal with the gangs. It is important however to take caution and stay safe.