Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi has said that the government is ready to combat the criminal gangs that have been harassing Coast residents, especially in Mombasa.

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Speaking in Mombasa on Sunday, the CS said that the operation is ongoing, promising that the government will smoke out and dismantle the groupings that have been assaulting residents.

He added that the government is aware of the involvement of some politicians and state officers in the gangs' operations, promising to go for anyone suspected of involvement.

“This time round we have to confront this issue head-on. I have raised very specific and very painful issues…Even if it means looking amongst ourselves within the government structures and security infrastructure we have, we are reorganizing all of it to address this problem,” he Matiang'i was quoted by Citizen Digital.

This follows reports that the knife-wielding gangs have since injured about 13 people in Bamburi, Mombasa, since their reemergence over the past two weeks.

The CS said that 11 of the 13 boys suspected of directly taking part in the assaults have since been nabbed, with a search ongoing for the remaining.

He said a search has been launched for the masterminds, even as he linked the attacks to drug dealing in the area.

“We cannot surrender the lives of our young people to some criminals whatever their social status or political affiliation. We are not naïve; we understand the risks associated with drug peddling, and we will stay the course of our agenda for youth development and national security,” said Matiang'i. 

He spoke after a meeting with heads of county security teams and political leaders.