Mombasa,KENYA:15 members drawn from various criminal gangs has been completed a 3 day rehabilitation programe in Likoni.
The members were drawn from Wakaliwao,Watalia,Youngthugs,Thuglife,Chaka to Chaka,Shashaman,,Bokoharam,Wakalikwanza,Wajakali,University,Chafu za Docks and Gaza deadly criminal groups.
Lobby group LICODEP director Juma Idd said the group members have been undergoing a three day rehabilitation at the center in a programme that seeks to reintegrate the suspects back into the society.
“At the center the suspects attend awareness lectures and debates.they will go back to the society and lecture to their members to denounce the criminal gangs activities,” said Mr Juma.
“We use local elders to reach this youth in their respective areas,we want to change the bad picture they have been branded by the community,”added Mr Juma.
Three female teens who act as leaders of the suspected criminal gangs also were in attendance.
Rose Kerubo a member of Watalia criminal gang and a form two student in one of the schools in mombasa said she joined the group in early 2016.She said she was approached by male members of the group to join them in exchange for goodies.
“The goodies I was promised is just attacking residents and robbing them,I have been absconding classes in order to move around with gang members,armed with crude weapons and engaging in criminal activities”,she said.
Rose added that,they had been using drugs before they engage in crime related activities.
She promised to abandon the group and reform after attending the rehabilitation.
Another group member Linah Sammy said she had been active die hard to thug life gang.
The group comonaly operates in Vyemani area,around the DCCs office in Likoni.
“I joined the group because of peer pressure from friends who are members of the group.I was secluded by my friends until I joined the group and that’s when I became one.they could even threatened me by saying I was a traitor.”said Linah.
Juma Seif Mwahima leader of Watalia gang said the group started during night discos.
“ Young boys who attended night discos would regroup and fight for girls.The group at first could use clubs in fighting but later advanced and armed themselves with knives and machetes,”he added.
Likoni police chief Benjamin Rotich said such groups should not exist and asked the youth to join legal groups of which they will access government funds instead of criminals gangs.
“We will not allow such criminal gangs to take up the sub-county .they will be met by fire, there are government funds which are easily accessed and are of benefits to many,”said police boss.
Police in the area have been battling with criminal gangs who have staged havoc by terrorizing residents and attacking them.