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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 15 September 2014


Homa Bay county residents are in shock, disbelief and in panic while others are constantly on their heels in fear of a deadly terror group now moving menacingly and dangerously in the region.

There appear to be a team of well known goons hired and paid take on those perceived to be opposing the county leadership style.

A number of outspoken critics of the county government including, human rights activists from the county have now gone underground in fear of the unknown organised gang that carry out their clandestine operations in full combat.

Mysteriously, the leader of the Homa Bay People’s Committee was recently kidnapped and later found by the CID officers in Kisumu county. His abductors allegedly tortured and threatened to kill him for talking ills about the Homa Bay county government. He was tied with a robe and then bundled for two days in a room around Nyamasaria on the outskirts of Kisumu town.

The Homa Bay town has become a dreaded destination since one does not know when the hawk-eyed vigilante strategically housed and positioned along the streets will strike. The well built, red- eyed political goons who don black suits similar to the now popular “Men in Black” tag famously remembered for halting ODM polls at Kasarani early this year have run berserk in the entire county, operating freely like the dreaded Mungiki cult. The militia has no respect to the rule of law as they violate all laws with passion and impunity.

The platoon is allegedly led by one Joy Ambata and the boys are normally on a daily stipend of between Sh1000 to Sh3000 depending on the mood and size of pocket their county bosses. They are at times taken for joyride trips in Kisumu and lodged either at Vunduba Hotel or other places. It is alleged that the group is getting support from the former Ndhiwa MP who is a close friend of the county power barons and is known for his Moi era’s clandestine activities. It is alleged that the former Kanu man, alias Ramji, has lined up boys for a series of dirty jobs including “disciplining” those dissenting voices in the county.

Even members of the cabinet and MCAs are not spared as they are continuously being trailed by hired youths who monitor their activities and associates and threaten them with beatings should they give audience to those perceived enemies of the county bosses.

Last month, the goons pounced on an official from the ministry of Registrar of Persons who had gone to see the deputy governor Hamilton Orata in his office. Members of the public, including the deputy governor himself, county security officers and county staff members, watched in disbelief as the men carried out their assignments with zeal in a commando style.

Another incident of violence was witnessed at a funeral in Konyango village within Kendu Bay town, the gang descended on a former aspiring senator, Ojijo Wyclife, when he tried to access the “royal” podium. He was beaten senselessly by goons of about 15 men as helpless mourners watched in disbelief.

The thugs also meted out some serious bodily harm to one of their own Wicky Jakauma who was beaten up in broad day light.

In February this year, the battalion attacked the then Public Service Board chair Mathews Oseko as he was heading to address the Homa Bay county assembly who had invited him to address them on the state of the employment in the county. Oseko later quit his position in protest.  However, some of the culprits were charged and pleaded guilty, feigning ignorance of law. Perhaps, it is true as most of them are primary school dropouts.

Their perceived ignorance of the law, however, manifested again during the recent meeting of elders from the larger Rachuonyo community when a battalion of youths reminiscent the “Crack Unit” of the Nasi regime attempted to disrupt the function allegedly at the instruction of the highest office in the county.

Some at Homa Bay county were allegedly jittery that the over 100 elders meeting at Alaw Rachuonyo Hall at Gendia in Kendu Bay would expose their rot and discover their terrorist activities, not knowing that by disrupting the elders’ meeting they were doing more harm than good.

At the same time, this amorphous group is said to be moving round the county spying and implicating certain politicians whom they perceive to be their pets come 2017 general election. “This is a dangerous gang that must be hunted down before they transform themselves in hit squad and guns for hire. “We therefore call for a peaceful co-existence in the county,” said Eroll Okumu the coordinator of Homa Bay County Salvation Front.

The squad is also alleged to be targeting leaders of lobby groups and human right activists who are against corrupt activities in the county. On their list are members of the Homa Bay Bunge La Wenyenchi, Homa Bay People Committee and members of the Homa Bay County Salvation Forum .

Locals are now asking the county commissioner’s office to open up investigations on the emergence of these brutal militia gangs of terror that now pose insecurity in the county.