Hiding in plain sight has become the latest of tactics employed by robbers in Nairobi, as they keep finding new means to steal from residents.
The robbers now walk the streets in gangs both for protection from mobs, as well as to ensure they work quickly.
Once they have identified a victim, the robbing is done quickly and efficiently, such that before anyone thinks of calling the police, the robbers have mingled with the crowds and cannot be spotted.
If you are walking within Kenya’s main capital city, here are the top dangerous areas which you should either avoid or be cautious:
i) Kenya National Archives
Hundreds of young men and women here, rob you in broad daylight! These thugs converge here to steal from unsuspecting people, especially if they realize you are new in the city. They beat up and injure their helpless victims before robbing them of anything valuable. The place is densely populated but people would not help you as you get robbed. They will wait until the thugs are at a safe distance before descending on you with questions of whether you have been “robbed”.
ii) Afya Centre
That green building along Tom Mboya street is a danger zone! There are young people at that place who will take anything you have including shoes, especially if you look ”expensive”.
iii) Machakos Country Bus
One of the oldest bus stages bus stages in the city, you will find a cocktail of muggers; from pick-pocketers to those stealing luggage from travelers. In this place, people steal without fear and they will force you into any vehicle they feel like. Those traveling to and from the countryside are the greatest victims.
The Koja roundabout where matatus are parked, is a no go zone. If you have your expensive phone, keep it to yourself while at Koja for you never know who might be watching. It is also here that group of robbers enter a matatu and in a flash of minutes, rob almost all passengers without them noticing. Whatever tactics they use remain unknown since the victims only realize they have been robbed after the robbers have alighted.
v) River road towards Tea Room
Everyone along this stretch is a suspect. You have to walk very purposefully lest you become a victim. The person walking beside, in front of or behind you might be a robber.
According to former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko, there are some politicians who are colluding with muggers to steal and terrorize Nairobians.
If you are planning to visit Nairobi for the first time, avoid these places or simply stay vigilante and avoid carrying valuables especially when you are alone.
As the popular slogan goes, the car in front of you is always a Toyota, in Nairobi, the person behind you or in front of you might always be a mugger.