Nairobi News


Let Nairobians have key say in Nyumba Kumi

February 12th, 2014 2 min read

Nairobi residents have finally been given a chance to air their views on the Nyumba Kumi initiative.

It came during a consultative meeting on Monday when residents were taken through the draft guidelines by officials of the Taskforce on Community Policing, chaired by former Provincial Commissioner Joseph Kaguthi.

Nyumba Kumi aims to mobilise neighbourhoods to work hand in hand with the police to tackle crime in their areas.

Community policing committees will be set up, starting at village level and up to the county, which will have a county policing authority.

These committees will comprise as many as 20 households. Local business people will also be asked to form Nyumba Kumi business committees.

Through the committees, residents can report vital but sensitive information on suspected criminals in their midst.

The meeting showed one of the reasons crime was thriving in Nairobi was because residents feared reporting suspects to the police.

Why? Because the police have at times betrayed them by revealing their identities to the criminals, exposing them to revenge attacks.

No less a person than Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero admitted the fight against crime was being undermined by the residents’ reluctance to report criminals, hence the need for a more community based initiative.

To allay the fears, the task force agreed to allow residents to elect people of their choice to head the Nyumba Kumi community policing committees instead of having them chosen by the government.

It is through these leaders that sensitive information will be channelled, from village committees to the sub-county and all the way to the county policing authority, which will forward the information to the police for action.

It was clear that the success of Nyumba Kumi would depend largely on the willingness of residents to volunteer information.

This is because insecurity in Nairobi has for a long time thrived on the mistrust between residents and the police.

For the initiative to succeed, the police must go out of their way to earn the trust of residents by demonstrating that they are truly committed to fighting crime.