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Why Residents are Abandoning Rongai

A wave of insecurity that has rocked the popular Rongai estate in Nairobi has forced residents and tenants to flee the estate and seek refuge from relatives living in other parts of the city.

Residents are abandoning their homes, leaving them unattended due to the soaring insecurity that have left their lives in danger, The Standard reports.

Florence Jerotich, a former Rongai resident, narrates an ordeal that saw robbers run away with expensive electronic devices, cash and a family vehicle. “I had just arrived home from a meeting at around 3pm on Saturday and called my house help to open the gate for me. As soon as she did, a man with a gun appeared from nowhere and tapped my window and ordered me to get into my compound as he followed,” Jerotich tells the Standard.

She further explains how the group of armed thugs forced her out of the car into the house where they terrorized her family members. “On opening the door, the thugs started shouting at my husband and my son, who were both lying on the couch, to get down on the floor. My husband was a bit hesitant at first but I pleaded with him to do as they said to save our lives,” she said.

“After a while, the men started asking me and my husband where we worked and demanded our financial details, including bank account numbers, ATM cards and pins so they could withdraw the money. I told them I did not possess an ATM card and they believed me,” recalls Jerotich.

Jerotich revealed how one of the men ordered her to borrow Sh40,000 from her M-Shwari account but to her relief, the request was declined by the service provider. “Nimeenda kuleta majamaa (I have gone to get more people),” one infuriated thug exclaimed.

She later managed to text a friend to inform him of the incident, but one of the men would come back to lock them all in one of the bedrooms.

“Immediately he walked out, I texted one of my friends and told him to call the police while we were still lying down,” she says.

They ordered her to remain silent failure to which she would never see her husband again. The men then used her car to leave the home but after a few seconds, she says how she heard gun shots just near their house.

“After a minute or so I heard two gunshots outside the gate and could not stop thinking that my husband had been shot. I tried opening the bedroom door with a pair of scissors but when that failed, I forced my way through the door and we ran out screaming for help,” she said.

She would later learn that the gunshots were fired by police trying to pursue the robbers who eloped away with her husband.

“We managed to chase the suspects up to a nearby river where they abandoned the car and Jerotich’s husband and fled on foot,” said Rongai OCPD Munika Olondo.

Jerotich’s husband was found later alive although he suffered a cut to his head and an injured leg.

Police managed to arrest two thugs who had fled in different directions while the third one was lynched by residents.

“The third suspect tried boarding a boda boda taxi but residents recognized him and arrested him,” says Olongo.

Magdalene Naserian, a resident of Kandisi reveals that several tenants have vacated the area for fear of their lives. “Last year, a woman and her children were raped and this did not sit well with the locals,” she says.

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