Mombasa, a coastal gem of Kenya, is known for its stunning beaches, rich culture, and vibrant atmosphere.
However, beyond the tourist spots, one neighbourhood stands as a stark warning: Kisauni, a place where visitors are urged to enter at their own risk. Why? Because in the heart of Kisauni, a dark presence looms – the Wakali Kwanza Gang.
Wakali Kwanza is a knife-wielding gang notorious for their reign of terror in Mshomoroni, Bamburi, and Kisauni.
Comprising mostly of dropouts engaged in drugs and senseless warfare, they have earned a reputation for ruthlessness and a unique brand of violence.
This gang isn’t interested in robbing huge sums of money; they prey on innocent civilians, stealing phones and cash to fuel drug addiction.
Their modus operandi is terrifyingly brutal. Victims are at risk of being stabbed or worse. One tragic incident in June 2018 illustrates the extent of their violence when they attacked a flying squad officer attempting to ambush them at their Kisauni hideout.
The flying squad officer later succumbed to his injuries, a grim reminder of the Wakali Kwanza’s lethal capabilities.
Before that, in March 2018, law enforcement had already dealt a blow to the gang by gunning down one of its presumed leaders known as Jillo. However, this did little to deter the remaining gang members.
In May of the same year, they blocked a road to Kisauni, wielding machetes and robbing citizens with impunity.
Unfazed by the deaths of their comrades, they continued their reign of terror. In September 2018, they attacked innocent citizens returning from a night of merrymaking in Kiembeni.
Their audacity reached new heights when they donned police uniforms and invaded Kadza Ndani village, killing Simon Kinuthia and leaving others with serious head injuries.
The Wakali Kwanza’s brazen attacks prompted a strong response from authorities. The then Inspector General, Joseph Bonnet, issued a stern warning to the gang in November 2018, vowing to deal with them firmly.
Security Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i reassured the public in January 2019 that the government was well-equipped to handle the Wakali Kwanza Gang.
However, those warnings seemed to fall on deaf ears as the gang resurfaced and continued its reign for another four months. On March 31, 2019, they boldly targeted passengers in a Matatu, showcasing their audacity and fearlessness.
The Wakali Kwanza Gang’s constant criminal activities have time and again placed Mombasa residents, especially those in Kisauni, in constant fear.
It underscores the need for continued vigilance and a comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of such criminal activities, including the allure of drugs and the lack of job opportunities for the youths.