Police in Nairobi have raised concern over the increasing number of homemade pistols used to commit violent crimes.
Since the beginning of June, the Nation has documented 15 recoveries of the homemade pistols, with half of them being recovered in Kayole and Eastleigh alone.
Earlier last month, police asked members of the public to volunteer information that would lead to the arrest of a maker of the homemade pistols whom they described as “disabled and notorious”.
This is after several youth arrested in Mihango, Huruma and Dandora gave police information about him.
The police however described him as very elusive and that he was being hidden and protected by members of a notorious gang in Dandora. Details on the identity of the man however remain scanty.
National Police Service Spokesperson George Kinoti on Tuesday said the police were now directing their energies in finding the manufacturers of the pistols.
“Several criminals have been arrested with them (homemade guns) and they are helping us in our crackdown on the manufacturers and the suppliers,” Mr Kinoti said, adding that some of the guns get into the country from neighbouring countries through the porous borders.
Suspects were killed by police in the cases reported this month before the firearms were recovered.
On Monday, two homemade firearms were recovered when suspects, who were robbing members of the public were accosted and shot by police in Mowlem and Kayole.
In Mowlem, police trailed suspects, who were robbing people in Maili Saba at 3.30pm. One suspect was gunned down while the other one escaped. The Kayole incident happened in Step-one area. A total of five rounds of ammunition were recovered from the suspects gunned down during the two incidents.
Other guns were recovered in Soweto, Eastleigh’s Muratina Road, Riruta, Pangani’s Captain Mungai Road, Zimmermann, Makadara and Buruburu in the past two weeks.
In one of the incidents in Kariobangi, a man, James Maina, 40, who was assaulting his girlfriend in her house was gunned down when he shot at police officers who were responding to her distress call. A homemade pistol was recovered from him.
Mr Kinoti said the guns that were recovered from the suspects were capable of firing and killing and so the police were treating them as illegal guns.
“The manufacturers are now learning more through the advanced technology,” Mr Kinoti said during an interview.
He said the homemade pistols are capable of discharging bullets.
He said the problem of homemade guns is not exclusive to Nairobi and that several cases had been reported in other parts of the country.
Mr Kinoti said several other pending cases of robbery with violence and illegal possession of firearms are in court.
Last month, the Head of Flying Squad, Said Kiprotich said the homemade guns were becoming more lethal. He asked members of the public to give information about the bearers and manufacturers of these weapons.