• County Police Commander Mark Wanjala, however, absolved the police of lacklustre performance while noting that there were heightened police patrols in the county.

• Some residents blame the rising insecurity on the lack of street lights on roadways. They claim Kenya Power disconnected the lights due to unpaid bills.

a Migori town resident at a scene where a gang invaded his house
INSECURITY FEAR: Josephy Nyapete, a Migori town resident at a scene where a gang invaded his house
Image: Manuel Odeny

Migori county residents have raised fear over increased insecurity ahead of the August 9 General Election.

On Tuesday morning, several tenants in Migori town’s Kakrao estate suffered break-ins and sexual assaults as a gang of gun-wielding youths in Pick-Up vehicles broke into houses.

Residents said they have been overwhelmed by insecurity in Migori, Rongo, Awendo, Kehancha, Isebania and Sori towns.

Within a month, a senior engineer at Sony Sugar Company and a watchman were murdered at Awendo and Rongo towns respectively.

“The gangs are always masked, armed with guns and crude weapons and have been terrorising residents,” said Joseph Nyapete, a resident of Kakrao estate.

Nyapete, a victim, said a six-man gang raided his house on Monday night after cutting through the grills of his rear window. The thugs beat him up and tied him up before stealing household items.

 “I could not identify them since they donned black masks. They kept asking if we could recognise their voices and even threatened to kill us if we raised any alarm,” Nyapete said.

The gang has been targeting electronics and other household items.

“They just take their time during the crime. They molest women, and during the night they have pickups to load items. We are scared as the cases are on the rise during campaigns,” Nyapete said.

Benter Anyango, a landlady in Awendo town, said her plots have been raided thrice in the past three weeks during the day.

“Last month, they raided my tenant’s house and took away everything. No one was around during the daylight robbery. Last week, we raised an alarm as they attempted to break into the compound,” she recalled.

The fresh attacks come a month after residents raised an alarm over a bloodthirsty gang christened 24 brothers, who were waylaying and attacking residents in a similar manner.

Residents of Suna East and Awendo sub-counties, who have borne the brunt of the attacks, say the gang includes youths, who launch attacks in the dead of the night, breaking into shops and killing their victims before taking off with property.

Some residents blame the rising insecurity on the lack of street lights on roadways. They claim Kenya Power disconnected the lights due to unpaid bills.

Uriri Business Community Group Secretary Elisha Okola said criminals had become notorious at the market and the nearby villages, attacking and injuring people even in broad daylight.

County Police Commander Mark Wanjala, however, absolved the police of lacklustre performance while noting that there were heightened police patrols in the county.

“We have enhanced patrols, but it seems criminals can notice police coming from far and hide before committing such crimes. To be more effective we call on security guards and residents to alert police for rapid response,” Wanjala said.

He said in most cases of business break-ins reported, they have been investigating cases of rivalry but said the situation is under control.

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