Opinion Piece: Nairobi Governor Sakaja Must Crush Coning Goons

Communication and Strategy Expert, Kenn Okaka. PHOTO/ COURTESY

By KENN Okaka- I am busy going about my daily activities. I walk along the busy walk between the Kenya National Archives and Standard Building along Tom Mboya and Moi Avenue. Here, I realise something not so usual. You will encounter a group of youths, both men and women who have new t-shirts in their hands. Sadly, all they do is harass passers-by.

The youths who use very persuasive language will lure you into their con game unknowingly.

First, once you give them an audience, they will enquire if you have a Safaricom line. The probability of not having one is a near impossibility.

The unsuspecting passerby would thus think that it is a Safaricom promotion caravan and would most likely give them an audience. You are then ‘rewarded’ with a free t-shirt for being a Safaricom customer. They will then invite you to play more ruffles and stand a chance of winning all sorts of rewards. There begins your tribulations.

Nairobians going about their daily hustle and bustle. PHOTO/ COURTESY

You are already a prey and will be taken to a nearby van which is often surrounded by people who seem to be playing gambling PR lotteries. They ask you for money to play guaranteeing you of an automatic win while they actually smooth talk you to deposit as much money as you can. 

No one ever wins anything, if you are lucky, you are only given the t-shirt estimated to be worth Ksh 200 after losing thousands of shillings. 

These day light cons carefully choose their target mostly women and seemingly older people.

The group is complete even with a counseling department,

They con you then they have people who console you telling you to come back the next day you will most likely win. They will give you a story of how they also played and lost only to win later. The guys will even offer you matatu fare to where you are going. 

Investigations have indicated that the conmen are well protected since you will always find policemen patrolling not far from the area. The police are at hand to handle any situation that might get out of hand. 

One of the cons will pretend to call the police who will arrive in a few minutes and pretend to arrest the guys after keenly listening to the victim. However, another team will arrive at the same place to continue the exercise in less an hour later.

Those arrested will be back the next day and continue with the coning business unabated.

Nairobians going about their daily hustle and bustle. PHOTO/ COURTESY

More investigations have also indicated that the groups are now threatening anyone who tries to castigate their business with a court order which allegedly allows them to operate there. The seemingly fake court order which the police and NCCG officials should have turned a deaf ear against. 

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja must act to end this cartel business. 

It’s not strange to find women crying for help that they have been conned for while no one comes to their aid.

The police clearly cannot help. The Nairobi county government seems to have given the conmen the license to operate the illegal business. 

It’s an obvious game played by the culprits together with the security agencies and senior county officials which must be crashed.

Kenn Okaka is a communication and strategy expert.

N.B/ Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of sportsdesk.co.ke.

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