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Apartment owners to account for tenants

Landlords in Nairobi’s upscale suburbs will now be held responsible for criminal activities committed by their tenants.

The move follows frustration within security agencies at the high number of criminals and suspected terrorist cells hiding in posh apartments.

Nairobi County Police Commandant Benson Kibui said police will hold responsible landlords of apartments where wanted criminals reside.

“Owners should know what kinds of clients live in their estates. They (tenants) should be able to produce Identification documents before they are allowed to stay,” Mr Kibui said.

Just last week, workers of an apartment in Lavington disclosed that Samantha Lewthwaite, the suspected mastermind of the Westgate attack, had lived in the premises for seven months.

And on Monday, Police found two Cescar pistols with 99 rounds of ammunition abandoned at Delight Apartments in Kilimani. One of the pistols belongs to a businessman of Somali origin.

The pistol belonging to one Mohammed Hitini was reported to have been stolen on Friday at a house in an estate the police did not want to reveal because investigations are still ongoing.

Kilimani OCPD Peter Katam said Mr Hitini, who is a licensed firearm owner, was not in the country when his house was broken into and the firearm alongside other valuables stolen.

“Mr Hitini’s relatives and workers reported the robbery at the police station and the matter was still under investigations before the two firearms were recovered,” he said.

He added that the Central Firearm Bureau identified Mr Hitini’s Cescar pistol, but could not identify the other one because its serial number is not registered at the bureau.

Mr Katam said the police have interrogated workers at the apartment to identify the tenant who left the weapons.

“The workers could not give much information about their client. We believe that someone knows the man and that it could be an inside job,” said Mr Katam.

Police are still investigating the matter.