The rise of gangs reigning terror in Mombasa


Six gangsters shot dead in Machakos

In Summary

  • Marwa’s presence at the Coast appeared to suppress operations of these criminal outfits, but the groups appear to have sprouted back into operation terrorizing locals and catching security officers napping.
  • The groups reigning terror include Lipa Kwanza, Timboni Mateja, Vijana wa Labour, Vijiweni Boys, Wajukuu wa Bibi, Wakali Kwanza, Wakali Pilipili, Wakali Wao, Wasasi and Watalia.
  • Groups such as Wakali Kwanza, Wakali Pilipili and Wakali Wao, apparently also started off as soccer groups before assuming a criminal nature.

The resurgence of criminal gangs in Mombasa is now a puzzle that security officers will be keen to unravel.

While others claim political forces are sponsoring the gangs, others point a finger at drug abuse, but the ruthless attacks staged by these gangs of young men have left residents living in fear.

Mombasa is seemingly and gradually gravitating towards a gangland territory.

An operational centre for terror gangs that resurface at will, staging lethal surprise attacks catching security apparatus unawares.

The latest attack staged by the Wakali Wao gang leaving at least 14 people injured in the county.

Surprisingly, most of the groups reigning terror on residents in Mombasa are outlawed but they still are able to work at will with virtually no fear of security forces.

T.K, not his real name, is a reformed member of the Wakali Wao group. He claims he reformed after surviving a botched operation where 10 of his gang members were killed by angry residents fed up with their terror.

Apparently the group begun as a football team, but transformed into a criminal organization after majority of its members ended up shackled in drugs.

To survive from defecting from the group, he said he had to relocate from the coastal town for nearly two years as his peers were baying for his blood.

In 2016, the then Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery outlawed 89 criminal groups. 11 out of the 89 groups surprisingly coming from the coastal region, groups that the then County Commissioner Nelson Marwa vowed to quash.

Marwa’s presence at the Coast appeared to suppress operations of these criminal outfits, but the groups appear to have sprouted back into operation terrorizing locals and catching security officers napping.

The groups reigning terror include Lipa Kwanza, Timboni Mateja, Vijana wa Labour, Vijiweni Boys, Wajukuu wa Bibi, Wakali Kwanza, Wakali Pilipili, Wakali Wao, Wasasi and Watalia.

Groups such as Wakali Kwanza, Wakali Pilipili and Wakali Wao, apparently also started off as soccer groups before assuming a criminal nature.

Reportedly the Vijana wa Labour group started off as a group of boys guarding politicians during their campaigns which was rendered jobless after elections, it assumed a life of crime.

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Story By Sam Ogina
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