CRIMINAL GANGS

Police suspect drug cartels link in Bamburi gang attack

'We will go out full-scale and arrest anybody implicated'

In Summary

• Last week, two men were arrested with cocaine of Sh11.9 million street value  

• Land grabbers also accused of fuelling attacks 

Tower of Faith Church in Mwembeleza Bamburi, where a heavily armed gang attacked worshippers on August 5
AFTERMATH: Tower of Faith Church in Mwembeleza Bamburi, where a heavily armed gang attacked worshippers on August 5
Image: ELKANA JACOB

Police suspect that land and drug cartels are behind the increasing gang attacks in Kisauni. 

Coast police boss Marcus Ocholla said on Wednesday they were investigating the likely link of the attacks to drug cartels who use the gangs to consolidate power and to taunt rivals.

“We are also getting some intelligence that the recent arrest of drug barons could have something to do with the attack. Should we confirm there is a relation between the arrests we made, more charges will be made against the drug suspects already in court,” Ochola said. 

Last week, Suleiman Juma Mujibu Mjikenda and Saady Bashur Omar Dawa were arrested at Barsheba with 2.979kg cocaine of Sh11,917,600  street value. 

Police have since established a distribution network headed by a Mtwapa village elder and a Nyali woman. They oversee drug supplies to prominent businessmen in Mombasa and Malindi.

“There is nothing that will stop us from arresting any form of criminality whether its drug-related or incitement...we will go out full-scale and arrest anybody implicated,” Ochola said.

He and regional coordinator John Elungata were addressing reporters at Coast Regional Police headquarters.

Elungata said the investigating team would interrogate politicians alleged to be sponsoring the gangs.

After the Monday attack by Wakali Kwanza gangsters, Mombasa police commander Johnstone Ipara accused land grabbers of fuelling the attacks. Thirteen people were injured in the 25-minute attack. 

A Bamburi elder who sought anonymity said residents fear losing land to non-locals.

Two women were arrested in Kisauni last month for defrauding residents of more than Sh2 million in a land syndicate. 

The suspects – Mwanaisha Hassan and Halako Bagutu – had sold land at Mwembe Legeza to Geoffrey Omondi in 2005. They sold the same land to Joyce Wanjiku in 2016. 

Kisauni police boss Julius Kiragu said police were tracking more suspects.

Last month, Lands CS Farida Karoney issued 338 title deeds to beneficiaries of Bombolulu and VoK settlement schemes. 

Hotspot for crime

The hotspot of land and drug gangsters are Kisauni, Barsheba, Bamburi, Mwandoni, Mshomoroni and Junda.

“Why do we have attacks only on specific areas all the time? It means community policing officers are sleeping on the job,” a member of Kisauni security committee said.

Critics accuse National Intelligence Service of ignoring reports of imminent attacks in the past.

Just hours before the Monday attack, pictures of bhang-smoking gangsters in t-shirts with obscene messages next to graffiti-covered walls were shared on social media.

Edited by R.Wamochie