Kongowea traders hire private security
Posted Sunday, July 1 2012 at 15:47
Kongowea Market traders in Mombasa have hired private security, including former police officers, to deal with attacks by criminals.
The market’s community policing chairman, Mr Peter Nyaga, said that cases of traders being attacked by robbers were on the rise.
“There are increased cases of armed gangs attacking traders.
The latest victim of the vicious attacks is admitted at Jocham Hospital with a broken leg after she was hit with iron bars by an armed gang at around 5:30 pm,” said Mr Nyaga in a telephone interview with the Business Daily.
The incident comes barely two months after gangsters bludgeoned four security guards at the market to death, broke into stalls, and stole money.
Mr Nyaga identified one of the traders killed recently as Veronica Bahati Malengi, whom he said was hit by an iron bar while rushing to help her neighbour who had been attacked by six men armed with crude weapons.
“They stole her a mobile phone and proceeds from the day’s sale,” he said. Last Thursday the traders foiled a robbery attempt at an M-Pesa outlet within the busy market and arrested one of two robbers who were armed with a toy pistol.
“We blame Mombasa Municipal Council askaris for poor security within the market. We have also witnessed an increase in petty crimes such as pick-pocketing and mugging, among others,” added Mr Nyaga.
Kisauni OCPD Julius Wanjohi said that undercover officers would be deployed to the market to weed out the criminals and challenged traders to be vigilant.
He, however, denied that insecurity was rampant at the market terming the reported attacks as normal crimes that could be dealt with.
“It is not insecurity but normal crime.
The market is densely populated, we have to go undercover to flush the criminals out. We expect the community to play a vital role in mitigating the problem,” Mr Wanjohi said.