Loved and hated in equal measure, he is one of the most feared cops in town, hunting down robbers to their hideouts, and if need be, sending them to their graves. Kenyans love him for saving them from gangsters, robbers hate him because he spares them not while human rights activists demonstrate against his actions in the name of extra-judicial killings.
Ahmed Rashid came into the limelight last year when he shot thugs in Eastleigh, first avenue, believed to be members of the dreaded Gaza group that has been terrorizing Kenyans in low income residential areas such as Dandora, Mathare and Kayole.
A year later, his name is flying high in the international arena after he featured in the latest BBC documentary, who have been following the life of the crime-buster in the risky streets.
He has been serving as the head of a special police unit hunting down gangsters in the city. In the documentary, Rashid says that there is no compromise in hunting the robbers, who have been terrorizing members of the public and stealing from them at gun point.
“We have to get them, whether alive or dead. There is no compromise in that,” says Rashid who has become a hero to the members of the public.
The documentary done by BBC journalist Jamal Osman reveals how the cop, who leads a team of other five policemen, popularly known as ‘Pangani six’, have been treading on dangerous grounds trying to rid the streets of the dangerous gang.
The Pangani six do not just go aimlessly looking for criminals, they are profiled and warned and if they do not comply, they have to ‘obey the force of gravity’, through the bullet. They work the same way as under cover cops who use social media to warn criminals, using pseudo accounts such as Hessy wa Kayole, Hessy wa Dandora among other names. Whenever a criminal is shot, his photo is posted on social media as a warning to the remaining gang members.
The cop who once served as a CID officer chose to hunt down the criminals after one of his colleagues Abdi Aziz was shot down by the Super Power gangster, and to make it worse they wore his uniform and took photos with it. This infuriated Rashid who decided to hunt the killers down. According to him, the gang he shot at Eastleigh last year March was responsible.
Osman manages to interview one of the gang members, who reveals that most of the city members are under Superpower, and steal under the influence of drugs. Under drugs, they cannot even recognize a relative.
“These days there are drugs used. Drugs like codeine, and when you take it your mind gets upside down. You can’t even recognise your own mother,” says the gangster who sought anonymity.
However, the killings have not just left the community devoid of crime. Families and friends have lost their loved ones. In the documentary, Osman meets 16-year old Lucy Wambuye who has lost two husbands through Rashid’s bullets.
This has seen the Policing Oversight Authority receive more than 10,000 complaints from the public, with only three being convicted so far.
But Rashid is not just inhuman, according to the documentary. To criminals who offer to change, he helps them engage in other income-generating activities such as a car wash he helped set up to accommodate reformed gangsters.
He also counsels youngsters in the community, who engage in wayward activities like refusing to go to school.
The gang admits that they engage in crime because they have nothing to do.
Organised crime has spread to most parts of Kenya, especially in central Kenya.
Last week, a gang descended on Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company (Muwasco) headquarters and vandalised CCTV cameras placed in strategic places in the compound.
A month ago in Kerugoya, 10 men forced their way into Kerugoya Level 5 Hospital and left with a patient.
In Kiambu, a former county executive for roads was assaulted by a group of men.
Here’s the full BBC documentary:-
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