On Monday, a member of a Facebook group posted a picture of a suspected gangster who had just been shot dead by police during a botched robbery in the city’s Eastlands area.
“This notorious gangster by the name Jimko has just been gunned down in Kariobangi Mwishi Plaza by police officers from Kariobangi. He had earlier on stabbed boda boda rider severally (sic) while robbing him. He has killed many and wounded many. Leo tunasherekea Kariobangi. Hata Kariobangi hakuna mchezo!!!!!,” the post read.
Members of the Facebook group, Dandora Love People, pride themselves in being born and bred in Dandora. They are now seeking to rid the estate of crime and hardcore criminals. Members post pictures of the criminals and the crimes they commit or committed, followed by warnings and it does not take long before the suspects are killed. Pictures of the slain gangsters are then posted on the page as a warning others.
While the tactic has scared many, others have blamed the group for singling out the youth for execution by the police. Said Kiprono, the Special Crime Prevention Unit commander, said he is unaware of the Facebook group. Mr Kiprono said the unit works on intelligence collected over a long period of time to solve crime.
On March 22, a member of the Facebook group posted pictures of four suspected gangsters who had been shot dead by the police while committing crime in the city’s Eastlands area. “If you are unable to reach your loved one on phone or in any other way, he might be among these ones. They were gunned down last night at Kanguruwe area. He who doesn’t hear an elder’s word breaks a leg,” read a post written in Sheng, Kiswahili and English.
Two days earlier, the four had been warned by a member of the group to stop their wayward ways “or face the consequences”. Police recovered a home-made gun and six bullets. On March 10, a person referred to as Joseph Murege was accused of terrorising passengers aboard a matatu the previous day.
“I think its gud to shade light on some issues here in Dandora: thiz (sic) guy by the name Joseph Murege and others yesterday terrorised innocent passengers in one of the Nganyas (matatu)… My friend Murege, you are well known as a notorious thug na hata wakati mwingine wewe hufanya uhalifu na bunduki. Ukitaka usalama, pelekea police hiyo bunduki yako na ujisalimishe mapema”.
On February 25 , a suspected thug identified as Geoffrey Wahome was shot dead by police in Dandora’s Gorofa Saba area after robbing a resident of a mobile phone. He too had been warned on the group’s page.
On its profile, the 37,424 member-group says it aims to “bring people of D-City pamoja in whatever experiences they have in social, sports, music, religion, hustling and any other things that make you say ‘Nimetoka D’’’.
Many of the warnings and pictures are posted by a Hesy Wa Dandora. Shortly after warning a criminal or a group of criminals, the police catch up with them. Hesy will be on hand to post the pictures of the deceased, and further warnings.
Last Friday, he posted “Good morning!!! I won’t get tired to remind you guys, this a Friday and mostly, such a time until Sunday is when thieves get killed either by mob or bullets. I just want to remind criminals that the police have not run out of bullets, their use is to ensure that law abiding citizens are protected… Steal, but take care of yourself lest I post your picture here this weekend. The countdown starts now”. Three hours after that post, six suspected gangsters, all aged below 20, had been shot dead and two pistols, an AK 47 rifle with 14 rounds of ammunition, a hand grenade and three pangas recovered from them.
While most members of the group applaud Hesy for his posts, others accuse him of celebrating and promoting extra-judicial killing of Dandora youth by the police. He says he has received death threats, but vows to continue with his posts “until D is crime free”.
“They do threaten me in public, but I am ready to die, if that’s the case. Dandora must be clean,” he told one member.