Never mind President Uhuru Kenyatta lives in State House which is in Kilimani
By Pascal Owade
Drug dealers, gun runners, money launderers and gold scammers all find a home in Nairobi’s Kilimani-the place of wild parties and more often, murders. Not a month passes before police are called in on something that would really trouble Lucifer.
The recent shooting of 28 year old Kevin Omwenga inside his apartment at Galana Suites, in a gold scam deal gone sour, is not the first. Or the last. Robert Bodo-who was seen leaving the scene of crime by Kevin’s brother, Wycliffe Omwenga-was arrested. The gun used, a Ceska pistol serial number B156623, was traced to Chris Obure, a renowned serial scammer, who has also been arrested. Bodo is Obure’s associate and bodyguard.
How Kevin got looped into gold scams is not clear, the amount shortchanged is also hazy, but what is known is that for three years to 2019, Kevin earned commissions selling cars at a dealership in Lavington. But sudden windfall saw him moving houses to the furnished apartment at Sh150, 000 a month. The crown jewel of change in fortunes was the Sh10 million plus Porsche Panamera he bought early this year. He also changed friends.
Monica Kimani was murdered in her Kilimani apartment in 2018. Former TV journalist Jackie Maribe and then lover, Jowie Irungu, now a gospel musician, were the main suspects
Why is Kilimani Nairobi’s new Sodom? Some call it the high end Kayole of Westlands.
Just this July, Sheila Njeri Murage was found dead in a flower bed at Santonia Court in Kilimani where she had gone for a night of partying. Three suspects were arrested and later released on bond.
Sharpshooter Dafton Mwitiki left his hotel business in Kilimani, went missing and has never been found-and might not
Businesswoman Monica Kimani was murdered inside her apartment in Lamuria Gardens, Kilimani in September 2018.
Television journalist Jackie Maribe and her then boyfriend, Jowie Irungu, now a gospel musician, were the main suspects. They were arraigned in court, held in prison and are now out on bond.
Monica had made a small fortune in South Sudan which saw her cruise around in a Beamer X5 besides buying a mansion in Ruaka on the outskirts of Nairobi.
Kilimani attracts foreigners, expats, CEOs, new money and women with wealthy sponsors
Despite its high security, burglaries are common. Crooks are not just men. Police lists Lavender Akinyi Ogilo among notorious criminals. Her specialty is house breakings. Then there is Grace Wairimu who was an accomplice in a 50kg gold scam featuring Rwandese nationals. That is the other thing about Kilimani: it attracts foreigners, expats, CEOs, new money and women with wealthy sponsors.
Kilimani is ideal for its centrality to Nairobi CBD, posh malls and access route to upscale estates of Runda, Gigiri, Lavington, Kileleshwa and Karen.
For decades, Eastlands was the capital of all sorts of crime. Dandora, Kayole and Kariobangi were the ‘axis of evil’
Its high-end entertainment spots attract the young rich-who in turn attract college girls and new jobbers out to get hooked.
Among revelers are politicians. Embakasi East MP Babu Owino went clubbing there and ended up shooting DJ Evolve twice on the neck this January. It was also in Kilimani where Nairobi Senator went drinking after hours and threatened to transfer arresting officers.
For decades, Eastlands was the capital of all sorts of crime. Dandora, Kayole and Kariobangi were the ‘axis of evil.’ So, why is the once no-go-zones for criminals now a magnet for gun runners, kidnappings and masters of ‘wash-wash’?
Kilimani also provides lucrative payoffs when a heist is pulled off
Henry Ochieng, CEO of Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) once fingered the privacy of residential areas as one loop hole crooks exploit in Kilimani. There are no gated communities, just high rise apartments where security is paramount. This exclusivity in which neighbours are less snoopy, attracts criminals.
Never mind President Uhuru Kenyatta lives in State House in Kilimani. Security analysts explain that that gives cops a false sense of security, dropping their guard. Foreigners are rarely harassed and the crooked ones thrive-most times in cahoots with rogue cops.
Russian Vladimir Borisenko lost Sh20 million in a dubious gold scam, but fled the country death threats became too real
Kilimani also provides lucrative payoffs when a heist is pulled off. Cars to be stolen are high end, burglaries might result in foreign currencies running into millions. Drug peddlers find deep-pocketed, regular customers with the high end pubs providing cover. Victims to be scammed lose their suspicion in well-heeled suburbs.
Like Vladimir Borisenko, a Russian who lost Sh20 million in a dubious gold scam engineered by Samir Munyinyi and Abdul Karimu Murenzi, a Congolese national. The suspects were arraigned in court as Borienko fled following death threats as crime syndicates around Kilimani pay for police protection which is arrests follow bail outs with cases dragging for ages in court.