Nyaribo Village in Nyeri has been a place akin to some parts of Northern Mexico where the cartels rule by fear, violence, and cold-bloodedness (Is that a word? Oh well).
The difference between the two is that the cause of this villagers anguish is not the drug mafia but police.
The bullets fly every day because of live ammunition training by the recruits of Kiganjo Police College.
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Speaking to the Nation, Ms Pauline Muthoni said:
“At 10am daily, we have to take cover because that is when the gunshots start ringing, You do not want to be outside when it starts because a bullet could hit you.”
Bullets occasionally whiz by Pauline’s home which she has lived in for more than 4 decades.This has become the norm and Muthoni says she is lucky not to have been hit by a bullet those years. However, her house has not been spared as she has had to replace her tin roof several times because bullet holes leak water into the house when it rain.
Salome Wanjiku, a guard at the rarely used Nyaribo Airstrip, has a more deadly account.
“At first, I thought it was a stone that hit me and then I checked and saw the bullet.”
She reported the matter a few minutes later at the Kiganjo Police Station under occurrence book number 15/04/12/2017. With the college located barely two kilometers from Nyaribo Centre, thousands of civilians have been put in direct line of deadly fire.
The local school, Nyaribo Primary School, sits in the direct line of fire from the college and parents say bullets have been collected in the compound on several occasions. Nderitu says.
“If things do not change, it will only be a matter of time before a child is shot.”
At the local quarry, the situation is so bad that one of the quarries has been named Ka Rithaathi, a Kikuyu name meaning “quarry of bullets”. Residents of the fast growing town now accuse the police of complacency in addressing the matter.
A few years ago, the range council of the college visited the settlement and promised the locals that things would change for the better. The locals complain that the police don’t care about the villagers that have to live in constant danger from stray bullets.
When Police Spokesman Charles Owino was contacted about the situation, he denied knowledge of the situation at Nyaribo village.