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Kisii residents at the mercy of ’24 brothers’ gang

A criminal gang calling itself “24 brothers” is terrorising residents of Mosocho in Kitutu Chache South Constituency, Kisii County.

Residents who spoke to the media told robbery stories and nights of terror and doom as the criminals allegedly known by the local security agencies roam at night as they execute their crimes with impunity.

The residents have urged county security apparatus to move with speed and arrest the criminals, whom they alleged were well known in the area.

The gang has made residents especially from Bogeka ward, along the Kisii-Oyugis road, to spend sleepless nights. The residents have little to celebrate this festive season as they fear more attacks.

Apart from breaking into homes, the machete wielding gang is also targeting vehicles and business premises. Locals inform that its working time is mostly 12 midnight to 3am, when most people are asleep.

Police however say they have launched a man hunt and are pursuing members of the gang, even as they urge folks to park their vehicles in safe areas.

Mr David Nyakundi, a victim of the gang, says the thieves stole from his vehicle last week, a second attack after another earlier in the month.

“They keep attacking us. They attacked on December 10 at night. They mysteriously opened our vehicle and stole several items that were inside. We reported to the Nyumba Kumi elders, but they asked us to notify the police,” said Mr Nyakundi.

Locals say the gang uses crude weapons and a special type of chemical while dismantling parked vehicles at night.

“Youths have come together for ill motives and are calling themselves a certain name there, you have heard it, 24 brothers. The administration is aware of them, not that they do not know. They have their report and have even tried to arrest some and release them later,” said Mr Thomas Momanyi, adding that gang members are mostly between 18 and 24 years old.

Ms Nyorita Nyaboke said she lost her millet and phone to the robbers.

“They invade farms and indiscriminately harvest bananas and maize,” said Ms Nyaboke.

Mr Geoffrey Nyerere said most villagers have had their vehicles and homes broken into.

Locals who travelled upcountry from various urban centres have had no reason to celebrate this festive season as they spend long nights guarding their properties.

Mr Nyerere called on police to arrest members of the gang, saying if untamed, the group may end up causing untold mayhem.

“They have been targeting those who travelled upcountry with their vehicles. Some are breaking into houses and are spending considerable time there, even cooking and eating,” said Mr Nyerere.

Mosocho police boss Mr Kazungu Charo called on locals not to park or leave their vehicles unattended at a place they do not trust.

“If you feel you are not comfortable, you can even bring the vehicle to the police station,” said Mr Charo.

The Police boss said they will deploy more security officers, in civilian and uniform, to deal with the 24 brothers and help study the gang’s operations.

“Whoever will be caught, whether you are a 26 brothers or 80 brothers, that is none of my business. I am very much concerned with the security of all Kenyans. Whoever who will fall on the opposite direction, on the opposite side of it, be prepared to face the full force of the law,” said Mr Charo.

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