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The rise and rise of gun toting licensed firearm holders

By PETER ODUOR January 14th, 2017 3 min read

There are increased reports of incidence of gun drama perpetrated by licensed firearm holders in Kenya.

Hardly two months passes before a civilian draws his gun and threatens to shoot someone for whatever grievance. The trend is worrying.

There was a time when guns could only be seen in the arms of law enforcement officers as they executed their daily duties, and on TV while you watched a movie, or on public holidays as law enforcement officers marched at Uhuru Park. There were licensed gun holders back then too, but no one knew who they were.

Today, your landlord could be a licensed gun holder and he/she could pull it on you because they don’t like your curtains, the ones you have put on their window.

Here are some licensed firearm holders in Kenya infamous for once in a while drawing their guns just to show who is boss.

1. Prezzo – The rapper and reality TV star has been known to throw guntrams whenever things do not go his way. Last year, he went for an evening interview at KTN, pulled out his gun at the gate and threatened security officers, then walked into the studio already drunk, and commenced the end of Denis Okari and Betty Kyalo’s marriage by flirting with Betty on air.

In 2013, he assaulted a Swiss Military officer at a Nairobi club over a parking space. It was reported that Prezzo pulled out his gun and hit the man on the head with the gun butt. And still in 2016, he allegedly tried to force himself into someone’s car in Nyayo Estate and when the car owner refused, he pulled out his gun.

The one common factor with Prezzo’s entire gun tantrums is alcohol.

2. Chris Obure – In the last five months, Chris Obure, a ‘businessman’ has assaulted a man, fired seven rounds in the air at a Westlands club and threatened to shoot a patron at a club in Kilimani in Nairobi. After his latest gun brandishing escapade at Kilimani B-Club, the flamboyant man spent a little time in police cell, arraigned in court and was released on bail.

Businessman Chris Obure at Kilimani Police Station. LEFT: Mr Obure's firearm and firearm certificate. PHOTOS | ZADOCK ANGIRA
Businessman Chris Obure at Kilimani Police Station. LEFT: Mr Obure’s firearm and firearm certificate. PHOTOS | ZADOCK ANGIRA

3. Sonko

Nairobi Senator, Mike Mbuvi, has been without drama lately. Perhaps it is the campaigns weighing him down. After all, he plans to replace Dr Evans Kidero as Nairobi governor. His guards have been involved in confrontations with other politician’s bodyguards that ended in shots being fired.

His daughter has on occasions treated her Instagram followers to photos showing her posing with her father’s guns.

After the of Cord leader Raila Odinga’s son, Fidel Odinga, Sonko caused a stir at Lee Funeral Home when he arrived a minute too late, flanked unnecessarily by gun wielding personal security.

Sonko’s gun misuse cases are mostly for show, his style of making a political statement.

4. William Osewe

Ranalo restaurant owner is currently recovering from gun wounds that he sustained in December 2016.

He is more of a victim than a perpetrator. But he had his gun, travelled to Kasarani and was threatening to shoot the other man before he got shot three times in the stomach. Their feud was over his wife, whom he claimed was carrying on an affair with Oywa Mboya, the man who shot him. Mboya also happens to be a licensed firearm holder.

This is not the first crime of passion involving licensed firearm holders in Kenya. In 2015, Jamuhuri day, Mr Erastus Odhiambo shot and killed his wife Linda Wanjiku in Buru Buru.

LEFT: K'Osewe Ranalo Foods owner William Osewe. RIGHT: Mr Tom Oywa Mboya
LEFT: K’Osewe Ranalo Foods owner William Osewe. RIGHT: Mr Tom Oywa Mboya

5. Cyrus Jirongo and Isaac Ruto

Former Lugari MP, Cyrus Jirongo, doesn’t like being helped. He shot at man who tried to help him after his car stalled along Arboretum Drive in Nairobi.

A couple of days after the doctor’s strike begun, Bomet Governor, Isaac Ruto, tried to solve the complex problem in simple way. Accompanied by a gang of rowdy youth and his gun, he stormed a union meeting and disrupted the proceedings at Fair Hill hotel before throwing out the doctors and their union leaders.

In the ensuing melee, he drew his gun to remind the nurses and doctors who they were supposed to listen to. He has since denied that he owns any gun or bears a firearm license.

6. The Landlord from Eldoret

40 tenants with rent arrears, a landlady with a firearm license and a student’s hostel in Eldoret Town; drama was the final product.

Tired of following up on rent payments, Ms Rebecca Saddam went to Miracle Hostel and told the 20 something year olds to pay up or vacate. To make her point, she drew her pistol scaring daylight out of the tenants’ morning.

Circumstances that lead to revocation of the privilege to carry firearm in Kenya include misconduct, being a threat to public safety and peace. When the circumstances under which the holder acquired the gun no longer exist, they are supposed to surrender the gun.