How dreams of plenty pushed aliens to Kabete
This is the three-bedroom house that has been offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants in the city.
Police broke into the Sh20,000-a-month home in Lower Kabete and arrested 50 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia.
They think they could have fled the city following the crackdown on suspected terrorists and illegal immigrants and sought refuge in the house.
Police recovered mobile phones and SIM cards from the suspects, all men in their early 20s who could not speak either English or Kiswahili.
They had lived in darkness, not switching on the lights even at night, possibly to fool neighbours into believing the house was not occupied.
Security agencies believe the arrests mark a major breakthrough against human trafficking.
Heavily armed police burst into the secluded house tucked away in quiet King’eero Village early on Friday morning and flushed out the Ethiopians who had been living in filthy conditions.
Acting on a tip off, police from nearby King’eero — less than 500 metres away — and Kikuyu forced their way onto the house before seizing the men.
First they had to break open a second gate to access the compound as the main gate was well secured with barbed wires and iron sheeting.
They then smashed through a steel window to leap into the house. The house has a large sitting room, kitchen and a store which were shared by dozens of immigrants for the one month they have been hiding there.
With its high perimeter wall backed by a thick bougainvillea hedge, the view of the compound was obscured, which made it easy for the immigrants to be sneaked in.
One immigrant who spoke broken Kiswahili said they had been taken to the house in batches of three people a night in a small vehicle.
“I paid Sh8,000 to be transported to this place and we would be brought three people at a time in the night,” he said.
The discovery shocked locals who had believed that the house was empty. Its owner is said to live in the US and had only rented it out to an Ethiopian woman late last year.
Inside the house was a huge dirty sufuria with leftovers of the previous night’s ugali and an equally large jiko on which the meals were cooked.
A bag of charcoal, a polythene bag full of cabbages, two mattresses and a carpet were among items recovered from the house, which was otherwise empty of furniture.
One corner of the living room had become a rubbish heap, although the compound was well manicured.
Area police chief Mutune Maweo said the suspects would be detained at Kikuyu pending further investigations before they were taken to court.