It was a matter of when, not if, the criminal, politically motivated raid on retired President Uhuru Kenyatta family’s property would happen—and security organs were aware of the plot but did nothing.
And when the invasion did happen on Monday amid anti-government protests led by opposition leader Raila Odinga, the target was the expansive Northlands farm at Kamakis on the Eastern Bypass in Kiambu County. It was looted and torched by a gang Knn has established was mobilised by some politicians.
Another attack was also staged at gas cylinder maker East Africa Spectre Limited, a company that is linked to the family of Mr Odinga, by a gang that was ferried from Dandora and Kayole.
Plans to raid the Kenyatta property were mooted last Friday and firmed up by Sunday evening, Knn established.
Two MPs, a former governor and a popular Kiambu musician are among those who reportedly played lead roles in mobilising the gang last Friday when the plot to counter Monday’s demonstrations was hatched. The youths were recruited from Kiambu and Nairobi.
Knn understands they were ferried from Ruiru, Githurai 45 and Gatundu South in Kiambu as well as Ruai, Kayole and Mathare in Nairobi. Sources said they were each paid Sh3,000, and handed machetes and a power saw that was used to mow down trees at the vast farm.
“They are youths known to belong to a criminal formation going by several names but coalescing around doctrines of the proscribed Mungiki sect. They are always on standby to be recruited in real estate conflicts where several developers have an interest in one plot. Those are the characters our good friends in politics hired for the raid,” said a senior intelligence officer in Kiambu County.
He said the intelligence was shared within relevant security circles. But no action or directive was issued until Monday when the invasion began.
“I was told on Sunday evening that I should be alert because there was a job planned for us and we would be paid well,” one of the gang members told Knn.
Some of the gang members assembled early along the Githurai-Mwihoko road, which connects to the Eastern Bypass, in Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) and were paid Sh3,000 and given machetes as they alighted.
They then headed to the vast land, which is known as Northlands City, where the Kenyatta family, is planning to build a Sh500 billion metropolis.
“As each person alighted from the PSVs, they were on the ground and handed us Sh3,000 each. They said they had enough cash for everyone and asked us not to fight for the money,” said another gang member. Boda boda operators based in the area said that they witnessed the gang members take the money.
“The buses arrived, dropped them and left. As they were alighting, some people were giving them money as we watched. When I saw the situation was getting out of hand, I left,” said one of the motorcycle taximen. Two policemen kept watch but never interfered with the attack.
The goons breached the fence, and slaughtered sheep and goats, while others stole the animals —which they then sold for as little as Sh2,000 — and cut down trees with the power saw in an orgy of looting that lasted over 10 hours.
Some erected temporary structures to signify ownership as they chanted in Kiswahili that they were “children of Mau Mau who were also entitled to land.”
Local security officials claimed they were instructed not to respond. Sub-county police bosses were instructed to keep reinforcements on standby to tackle rioters in Nairobi.
“We could not act on Monday until today (yesterday) because our boss firmly told us to put our officers on standby for deployment in Nairobi and that we should not send our team to any other area,” a senior detective in one of the Kiambu sub-counties told Nation.
“You saw what happened yesterday and I can tell you if we dared to go against the directive from our seniors we would be jobless or transferred today,” another detective told Knn.
The senior police officer accused of relaying the instructions did not respond to our inquiries for comment.
Another security officer added: “The management of Northlands tried to call us but we could not act. The government has held us hostage and unfortunately, we couldn’t act. It is unfortunate we are being misused.”
Knn corroborated this account by interviewing private guards at the vast farm yesterday.
They said they first reported the attack at the nearby Gatong’ora Police Station but they were turned away. The police station is located just five kilometres away from the farm. Another police station, Mwihoko, is a similar distance from the scene of crime.