Residents of Mathare on Monday recounted their night of terror in the hands of alleged Mungiki sect members.
The events that started at around 9pm on Sunday night and went on deep into the night left two feared dead and many injured.
Samuel Ombiri’s bitterness and pain is evident as he recounts the night’s events.
“A group of men dressed in jungle green police uniforms showed up at around 9pm in police vehicles with hidden number plates. They moved from house to house, breaking doors and ordering youths and old men to get out,” said Ombiri who is the chairman of Nyumbi Kumi in the area.
They lobbed teargas canisters into houses whenever they sensed hesitation and dragged men out, he said.
According to Ombiri the dread-locked men were armed with machetes, clubs and guns. Spent cartridges picked up in the area by residents were labelled Kenya Defence Forces. Though their hairstyles raised some doubts in Ombiri’s mind, the residents were too scared to resist or question them.
A life spared
According to Ombiri the area had been without water and electricity for some days.
Ann Anyango, a mother of two boys, recalled how her son and his friend were beaten almost to death.
Chrispine Owino, 17, was at a neighbour’s house with his friend, Silas Lebo, when she heard them screaming. When she arrived she found her son lying in a trench with a group of four men pounding him with clubs.
Another woman said the men pointed a gun at her son. She screamed at them, pleading for her son’s life. The boy was spared.
“I was at my friend’s place when we heard knocking and kicks on the door. We had locked ourselves inside and refused to open, when the door was kicked open and we were dragged out to the trench and beaten thoroughly on the knees, legs and arms,” said Owino.
Owino added that his friend, Silas, was left unconscious and later died.
Christine Lebo confirmed that her son, Silas, was a Form Four student at Barding Secondary School and was expected to sit his final examinations at the end of the year.
Christine said she witnessed her son getting tortured and tried to shield him from the beatings but when they finally left him he was in a bad state.
“With the help of neighbours, I carried my son to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was taken directly to the Intensive Care Unit. He did not make it,” said Christine.
Lebo added that she is required to pay Sh49,000 by the hospital and another Sh2,500 for postmortem.
The postmortem is yet to be done, because Christine cannot raise the money.
Silas was her fifth child and she had just cleared his school fees.
Dan Onyango, a 20-year-old mechanical engineering student, was dragged from his house and beaten after refusing to open the door.
He had just arrived from school and was resting in the house when he heard banging on the door, ordering him to get out.
When he refused to open, a tear gas canister was lobbed inside the house forcing him to get out. The attackers descended on him with kicks and blows on the stomach and chest.
Onyango sustained severe injuries on the stomach, chest and arms and is immobile.
“We took him to the hospital where he had an x-ray done on him. The x-ray showed so many severe injuries that need money to be attended to. We later returned him home since we don’t have the finances for the cost of his treatment,” said Onyango’s brother.
Joel Onyango, a resident and father of one had his right leg broken after a confrontation with the gang in his house. Onyango said that they broke the door and found his wife seated on the seat while he was hiding under the mattress.
He said that they started beating his wife and even threatened to rape her that’s he decided to get out of his hiding place and face them. He was ordered to lie down with his young daughter watching as the gang hammered on him with clubs giving him injuries on the left leg and a broken right leg.
“I am a carpenter and has never participated in any demonstrations. These men came to my house and humiliated me in front of my child and wife, leaving me with a broken leg yet I am the breadwinner,” said Onyango.
The police, however, denied reports of the Sunday attacks. Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome said they have launched investigations on the source of the reports that caused panic in Nairobi.
He termed as fake reports circulating on social media that members of a particular community were killing others, and assured that there’s adequate security there.
“We are not aware of any such attacks. These are fake news and we want to know the source,” he said.