ORGANISED CRIME

Gangs vandalise submerged businesses, homes in Naivasha

Structures submerged after water level in Lake Naivasha rose following rains

In Summary

• Firm official says on Tuesday night, they raided his facility and made away with over 100 metres of electrical cable. 

• Security officers on Wednesday toured the affected areas around the lake with the Lake Naivasha Boat Owners association offering their boats for night patrols.

One the houses on the shores of Lake Naivasha which has been vandalised by gangs targeting structures submerged in water.
DAMAGE: One the houses on the shores of Lake Naivasha which has been vandalised by gangs targeting structures submerged in water.
Image: GEORGE MURAGE

Hoteliers and flower farmers around Lake Naivasha are counting losses in millions following increased cases of vandalism on their properties that have been submerged in water.

Organised gangs using boats have in the last week vandalised the structures left behind following a rise in water levels.

Residents of Kihoto Estate which has also been flooded have not been spared either after the organised gangs made away with doors and windows from the abandoned houses.

 
 

Security officers on Wednesday toured the affected areas around the lake with the Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association offering their boats for night patrols.

Hippo Point proprietor Dominic Cunnigham, who is a victim of the crimes, said the gang of over 30 was well organised and was raiding premises at will.

He said that on Tuesday night, they raided his facility and made away with over 100 metres of electrical cable after threatening his security officers. His store has been raided several times, he said.

“Already one of my security officers is admitted in hospital after he was attacked by this gang and this issue is now out of control and thus the need for urgent action,” he said.

Cunnigham admitted that the Covid-19 pandemic had played a part in the attacks with tens of sacked workers pushed into the lake.

Crayfish Hotel CEO Peter Mehta said his house, which has been submerged by the rising waters, had also been vandalised.

He noted that the youths were using boats at night and were targeting structures that had been abandoned by the owners.

 
 

“They raided my houses and carted away windows, sinks and other effects before turning into nearby flower farms and also vandalising greenhouses and electrical equipment,” he said.

Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association chairman David Kilo admitted that the vandalism cases were worrying with the numbers of those involved also increasing.

He attributed this to lack of police patrols adding that the association would offer three boats to assist security officers in their patrols.

“The curfew has only been concentrated on the land but in the lake, there is so much robbery going on targeting laid nets and vandalisms of structures,” he said.  

Naivasha subcounty commissioner Mathioya Mbogo said the Hippo Point attack had been reported to Kongoni police station and it was under investigations.

“As much as there is a crisis in terms of job losses we shall not allow some few individuals to break the law by attacking guards,” he said.

Edited by R.Wamochie