By Ibrahim Issack
As the sun sets behind the sky scrapers of Eastleigh and people rush to reach destination in one of the busy roads, the noise of the street sellers persuading people to purchase their goodies on sale at a price they keep repeating like a song gain momentum as they take turns and in unison.
Four skinny boys jump out from their hideout near a sidewalk in the busy road. They quickly attack unsuspecting pedestrians speaking on their phones .The group of young men snatched the phone and other valuables from the terrified man. His plea for mercy falls on deaf ears and they threaten him for raising the alarm. Surprisingly, onlookers walked hesitantly while others charged at the thugs.
The skinny knife-wielding boys who don waging jeans trousers and had long unkempt hair were members of the dreaded ‘superpower’ gang. A group that has been terrorizing residents of Eastleigh for years.
As it turned out, the victim was non-Somali. The gathers caught two of the attackers. A section of the crowd was opposed to the idea of lynching one of their own, the attackers being Somalis. They escaped in the middle of the ensuing confrontations.
This is a factor in why the gang remains alive. Surprising how a merciless gang group enjoys clemency for the same people they harass.
The gang mostly robs at dusk and dawn. They have literary taken control of the estate. Infact, residents consider areas from 3rd street to 7th street as “their territory”. Some say it’s because police patrol is rare in those areas while others have a different narrative that police knows what goes on there.
With allegation that they enjoy the protection of some police officers, why this gang can’t be completely dismantled raises questions.
In the month of Ramadan, photos of two alleged gang members with stains of blood all over surfaced in social media. It was an infighting linked to disagreement over robbed valuables.
Salah Mohamed, a journalist and a participant of the #walkofhope team was the latest victim when they attacked him on Saturday night at around 8pm along Eastleigh’s first avenue.
They stabbed him at the back close to his left kidney and robbed him of cell phones and other goodies.
When Nep Journal contacted Salah through phone call, He was in stable condition nursing injuries and was proceeding to report the matter to police.
“I am okay and not in hospital now.” he said.
Yussuf Muhumed, a resident believes that their parents and a section of the residents are not serious to dismantle these guys.
“Residents should lead in raiding their territories at night …and why is there no arrests being made or even when made why are they not arraigned in court? He poses angrily.
Nep Journal contacted Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet through his official twitter handle @IGboinet but there was no response by the time of going to press.
Ibrahim Issack is a freelance journalist and Nepjournal contributor.