Camp Toyoyo, a gangsters’ paradise?

Philip Kamakya

For the last few weeks, gunwielding criminals have taken over Jericho Lumumba Estate in Nairobi with reckless abandon, leaving residents in fear.

Distraught residents say the most affected area is the famous Camp Toyoyo ground and its environs where brazen attacks take place even in broad daylight.

The latest incident took place right inside the stadium during a friendly match between Paris Jibambe FC and Karen Wazee FC that was being played under floodlights.

Hell broke loose soon after the match ended when players, who were sipping a drink next to the pitch after changing, were accosted by three youthful thugs brandishing pistols, forced into submission upon which they were robbed of money, mobile phones and jewelry.

During the melee that occurred in the full glare of bystanders, as other teams took to the pitch to play the next friendly match, Paddy Odongo who is a member of Paris Jibambe FC says he lost Sh20,000, a mobile phone and a silver chain.

“We attempted to resist and even raise alarm, but they threatened to shoot us and even showed us bullets to prove that the fi re arms were not toys. We just gave in and surrendered all our valuables,” said Odongo. He added: “They didn’t event spare our bottles of whiskey and as they walked away, they told us to raise an alarm if we wanted to and even advised us to go and report the case to the police.” Just a fortnight ago, People Daily reporter James Magayi was robbed almost in a similar fashion but in broad day light, just outside the stadium as he went to cover a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match.

KPL side Wazito FC has also had their players robbed after coming from training at the facility.

Residents say this is not the fi rst gun drama and that the criminals some of them known, usually prey on strangers and are ready to shoot at the slightest provocation.

Another hot-spot in the crimeprone estate is the feeder road next to SDA Church, about 300 metres from Camp Toyoyo.
Divisional Criminal Investigations Offi cer (DCIO) in charge of Buru Buru, Jeremiah Ikiao confirmed he had received several complaints on the lawlessness and promised to bring the culprits to book.

He called for calm and promised security to football enthusiasts attending matches at the venue.

“They (thugs) can run but they cannot hide.

I want to warn them that the long arm of the law will catch up with them soon,” he said.

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