Inside the ‘Koita’ extortion gang of Eldoret
Police in Eldoret are investigating the activities of a dreaded gang reigning terror in Eldoret town commonly referred to as ‘Koita.’
The gang, which is allegedly composed of over 30 members, is accused of moving around town extorting money and bribes from traders, while some of its members sexually harass female traders in the town.
Recently, gang members allegedly threatened an Eldoret magistrate following a case filed against some of its members in an Eldoret court.
Responding to complaints from Huruma residents, Huruma Member of County Assembly Wakili Kimani Wanjohi accused the county government of failing to prevail upon the gang, claiming that some of its members disguise themselves as employees of the county enforcement department.
“The county government under the leadership of Governor Jonathan Bii must come out clearly on the issue and tell us the strategies that have been put in place to eradicate goons who pose as county enforcement officers,” said Mr Wanjohi.
Pose as county enforcement officers
The Ward Rep said for a long time, traders in Eldoret town have accused the group of assaulting them under the guise of county enforcement officers, yet the county leadership has remained silent about the complaints.
The MCA took issue with the county on the procedure used to employ enforcement officers, claiming that some people employed by the county are criminals who hardly respect the rule of law.
“Some of these county enforcement officers do not qualify to hold such a position according to the county laws. Some of them were goons used by politicians in the 2022 General Election campaigns and were involved in hooliganism. These are people who are behind atrocities being committed towards the business community in Eldoret town,” lamented Mr Wanjohi.
The MCA plans to table a motion in the county assembly to review the qualifications of county enforcement officers and their recruitment process.
He claimed that most of the enforcement officers, including their directors, hardly meet the legal requirements to hold the said offices.
Responding to the allegations, Eldoret Municipal chairman Julius Kitur termed the allegations as malice.
Mr Kitur asked those with information about the gang to report to the police so that legal action can be taken against the suspects.
“We should not politicize even security matters. If there is a leader who has information about the alleged goons, let him report to police for action to be taken,” said Mr Kitur.
Uasin Gishu police commander Moses Mureithi confirmed that his office had received a report about the goons threatening magistrates in Eldoret.
“There are complaints about people being assaulted in this town and we have received the reports. These cases are with us, including of an Eldoret-based magistrate who is reported to have been threatened by the said individuals,” revealed the police boss.
He said police had received complaints on the issue affecting residents and they are conducting investigations before the perpetrators are arraigned in court.
“We have received those claims and we are carrying out our investigations if there is someone with solid information about the same, please volunteer it to the police,” Mr Mureithi said.
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