Members of the outlawed Gaza gang have invaded private and public land in Mlolongo, assistant county commissioner David Mukung’ has reported.
Mukung’ said they have changed tack to posing as land brokers in that part of Machakos county and its environs.
He said the thugs carried out armed robberies and burglaries in Mlolongo before resorting to land grabbing. They targeted shops where gas cylinders and electronics were sold and M-Pesa outlets.
The commissioner said several of the gangsters have settled in Mlolongo town while others have moved to parts of Nairobi, Kayole and Embakasi areas in particular.
He said some are in Mlolongo Phase Three near the dumping site while others are in Kinanie area.
"They are sub-dividing people's parcels of land and selling them to unsuspecting buyers," he told The Star at his office in Mlolongo town on Friday.
The National Social Security Fund is one of the affected land owners, he said.
But the commissioner noted security had improved.
“Police have seriously cracked down on the group. Incidences of armed robberies declined in Mlolongo area after three members of the gang were gunned down by security agents in December," he said. “Issues of insecurity have gone down but we are now facing more cases of land grabbing."
Mukung' praised police for their efforts and good relationships with the community. He cited the Nyuma Kumi Initiative and quick response to alerts.
"Mlolongo police officers conduct effective investigations so they do not make arrests unnecessarily. Only criminals are arrested," he said.
The commissioner expressed confidence that the government will deal with the criminals.
“Land grabbing in on the rise in Mlolongo but we will ensure only genuine owners retain parcels," he said, and warned the public against dealing with brokers who do not have genuine documents.
"All criminals will be eliminated from Mlolongo and its neighborhoods."