136 suspected gang members have been arrested in the central region as efforts to rid out criminal gangs continue.
Central region County Commissioner Wilson Njenga said 11 were arrested in Nyandarua County, 80 in Kiambu and 45 in Nyeri counties.
Njenga said they have intensified a crackdown on the organized gangs which have been fleecing matatus and are now targeting the construction industry.
Njenga was speaking at a press briefing held jointly with Citizen Participation in Security – Nyumba Kumi task force chaired by Joseph Kaguthi in Nyeri County.
Kaguthi called on members of the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour through the Nyumba Kumi toll-free SMS number 22068.
The CPS chair decried the use of illicit brew by the youth and urged the local administration to fight the vice.
Kaguthi warned boda-boda operators against joining the groups and regretted that many would die adding “You cannot threaten any government anywhere”.
He urged all leaders to be proactive and ensure the re-emergence of the criminal groups is contained.
The Regional Commissioner noted that they were in the process of conducting a campaign across the region to rid out illicit brew and second generation alcohol saying that Muratina and Makabo were common in the region.
He called on the judiciary and the county governments to work with them in the fight against illicit brew and second generation brews.
“We take people to court for lack of licenses but they are released since there is no framework for new issuance of licenses.” He said.
Njenga urged courts to stop giving lenient fines noting that they go as low as Ksh500.
The Regional commissioner warned that his administration will deal with coffee thieves, citing a recent incident where 40 bags of coffee were stolen in Kianderi factory in Kirinyaga County.
He added that huge resources have been pumped into the sector to revive it and the government will not watch cartels frustrate the farmers after heavy investments in the sector.
Njega added “We are zeroing on coffee millers to know where they are getting there berries,” and urged farmers to avail information to the security agencies.
He accused some management of coffee factories of failing to provide crucial information to the police because they are part of the cartel.