A year or so back, many Nairobians started moving to the then little-known Ruaka in the outskirts of Nairobi. However, Ruaka has not turned out to be the paradise many thought it was. Recent happenings have send cold shivers down the spines of the residents. Last week, five people, including a female Uber driver, were killed in one night. The murders were just at the top of the list of the crimes reported in the area.
The recent happenings have seen Ruaka residents flock to social media to help secure the area.
“We have insecurity issues in Ruaka. Cries are everywhere on our Facebook page. Mostly, the issues that were being reported were gang rape, robbery with violence, carjacking, house breaking, and pickpocketing, until recently when the robbers started gunning people down,” says Ngari Borana, the administrator of Ruaka Security Updates.
Ruaka Security Updates is a WhatsApp group that Ngari formed to facilitate communication on security matters between residents and the police. The group is made up of residents and police officers. If someone is under attack or comes across a crime in progress, they write a quick post on the page, explaining where the incident is happening. A quick response team in the group alerts the police immediately in case no officer was online. Sometimes the officers follow the discussion in the group as they send their team to the rescue of those in distress.
Eric Muriithi, a resident, says insecurity is not new. “When I was moving to Ruaka, my mover told me that the previous month, alleged Mungiki members had extorted his truck when he was moving somebody else to the area. The recent killings are a clear indication that there is a gang on the loose.”
Phyllis Githaiga, a victim of the Ruaka robbers says her house was broken into in broad daylight.“These robbers are too brave. They broke into my house and took their time to search and take all my household items that I had worked so hard for. They made away with electronics, gas cylinders, and even small items like watches,” narrates Phyllis.