Residents of the upscale Nairobi neighborhood of Karen are pleading for protection from a land-grabbing mafia that is preying on elderly white residents.
Residents in the community stopped two people on Thursday from carrying out what was described as a planned land grab, and one of them was detained and charged with impersonating a senior police officer. The two people were claiming possession of a home owned by an elderly couple in the estate.
On videotape, Peter Munene Kamau, Jackson Mwangi Wambui, and a man posing as the Deputy OCS of the Karen Police Station were seen trying to enter Richard Hooper’s Karen home.
Through social media notifications, neighbors in Karen were swiftly notified of the standoff that took place on January 18, 2023, and some jumped to Mr. and Mrs. Hooper’s defense.
“This is one among the many cases that we have in the Karen area where strangers appear out of nowhere claiming to own land of some of our members yet we know our members very well and we even keep records to show who has lived where for how long,” said Eric Munyua, a representative of the Karen Residents and Owners Association.
Richard Hooper’s neighbors and friends stopped Mwangi and Munene from pursuing their attempts to acquire the property.
Then, DCI officers from Karen apprehended Mwangi, who had pretended to be the Deputy OCS of the Karen Police Station. He was charged with impersonating a police officer and arraigned in the Ngong Law Courts on Thursday.
Munene, who was with him, was told to return to the Karen Police Station on Thursday.
The Karen DCI is currently investigating if the two guys are associated with a land-grabbing gang that primarily targets elderly Karen homeowners.
Mr. Munyua said, “We’re always in touch with them to know what is going on. The victims have been older folks who may be living alone since their children are not around.”
Residents of the neighborhood claim that recent years have seen an increase in such cases.
“We continue to see attempts by whoever is trying to stake a claim to land,” Mr. Munyua continued.
It ultimately ends up in court. The incidence has occurred six or seven times in the past two years.
Residents of Karen have started a campaign to inform property owners about an active cartel that is alleged to be assisted by powerful individuals in the Ministry of Lands.