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Why Maseno residents believe students are to blame for increased crime

David Kariuki
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Residents at the scene of a burnt vehicle that was used by a gang that robbed an Mpesa shop at Maseno.[Source/Levina Awino]

Theft, robbery and assault among other crimes have been on the rise in Maseno especially near the University lately.

Mabungo market which very close to the university has been one of the shopping centres that have been hit by insecurity to a larger extent.

In fact, eleven days ago, there was an Mpesa robbery at the market in the evening just before it turned dark and the perpetrators escaped with cash of unquantified amount.

Efforts by the locals to get hold of them bore no fruits as the suspects escaped with the cash after their escape vehicle rolled and was rendered immovable.

Elsewhere, two Maseno University students on Wednesday night were attacked by a gang of men at Nyawita while going back to their hostels at around midnight. 

The gang injured one of them with a machete before it went ahead to escape with their laptop and smartphones.

Apparently, most of these criminal activities have often been blamed on the residents of the area who most refer to as "Wanyore". 

However, residents have disputed these claims citing their own convictions why students of the university were the greatest perpetrators of these crimes.

A conversation with most who sought anonymity revealed their displeasure with the allegations giving reasons why students were to blame.

 "These boys you see around, some have many challenges, financial challenges and burning needs, they can't hesitate plotting a violent robbery on anyone around here." One busy trader at Mabungo market explained.  

 "Our village boys know very little about smartphones and Mpesa lines, but these students have all the technology at their fingertips and all the tricks. The other day an Mpesa agent was conned an amount equivalent to 99% of his Mpesa float. Most of us have no idea how it functions or how the line looks like but you hear everyone blaming the villagers." The man added bitterly. 

"Just go and visit the bars around Maseno market and count how many village boys you find drunk there, 98% are students who seem more desperate than our low regarded boys and girls of the village." Another trader highlighted.

They said that although a good number of robberies are done by some idle villagers the students baptise as "Wanyore",  not all of them are to blame for the crimes as some are initiated by some students.

Quoting the recent robbery where the perpetrators escaped with thousands of cash, one of the traders said that one of the robbers was engaged in a conversation with a student suspected to be an accomplice of the gang before he stormed into the shop about five minutes later and came out with cash.

Smartphones and laptops are among the items that are highly stolen in Maseno and some armed thugs ask for passwords as one of their victims explained.

This has begged the question of whether Maseno University students are proving to be insecurity to themselves.

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-David Kariuki

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