Red Cross volunteer killed in Lamu

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A volunteer with Kenya Red Cross Society, who is also an official of Nyumba Kumi, has been hacked to death in Mbwajumwali village in Lamu East.

Ms Amina Bakari, 30, who was a volunteer peer educator with the Red Cross, was attacked with a panga by unknown people as she closed her shop at around 11pm Monday.

Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri confirmed the incident and said that police have already launched investigations to find out the motive of the killing.

No one has so far been arrested in relation to the murder.

“It’s true. The lady was attacked by unknown persons as she was closing her shop. Police are investigating the matter. It’s still early to comment on the matter,” said Mr Kanyiri.

Kenya Red Cross Society Lamu Branch Coordinator Kauthar Alwy confirmed that the woman worked with them, adding that she was a very active member of the organisation.

“I have received the news with shock. I can’t believe that Amina, a very active member of the society here in Lamu is no more. Apart from being a peer educator, she was also a peace ambassador in Mbwajumwali. As Kenya Red Cross Society, we had sponsored a youth group in the village as a form of empowering them. Amina was the chairlady of the group and they were doing well. It’s unfortunate that she was killed as she closed her shop. May her soul rest in peace,” said Mrs Alwy.

Lamu elders condemned the incident, attributing the killing to the drug menace affecting most youth in the region.

Mbwajumwali is among the most notorious drug peddling hotspots in Lamu.

A 2018 report released by the Lamu security department also singled out Gadeni, Wiyoni, Kashmir, all in Lamu Town as well as Faza, Kizingitini, Myabogi and Tchundwa, all in Lamu East, as the most notorious drug peddling areas in the county.

Mr Khaldun Vae, an elder in Lamu East, called on security agencies root out the drug menace and machete-wielding gangs in the region.

Mr Vae accused the security officers, especially in Faza Ward, of laxity in fighting and eradicating the drug menace as well as the gangs, which he said are giving the community sleepless nights.

Early this year, the security department in Lamu in collaboration with the local community initiated plans to restore peace and stability in all villages affected by the menace.

“It’s very unfortunate to lose an innocent lady who was very dedicated in empowering the community in Lamu East. All this is because drugs continue to affect our young people while our security officers are watching. As a community, we already sat with them and came up with resolutions including arresting those found in possession of pangas, knives or any other crude weapon in public places. We haven’t seen any action taken so far, especially on those found with the weapons. The security officers should work or be transferred from our region for letting us down as a community,” said Mr Vae.

Mr Omar Shee called for concerted efforts from all to end the drug menace and other evils bedevilling the community.

“All this cruelty is because most of our youth are under the influence of drugs for 24 hours. If we want to stop this, we need to come together as a community and fight the drugs,” said Mr Shee.

In 2015, the county administration introduced a banned locals from walking around armed with machetes, knives and clubs in public.

But despite the ban, cases of fights, deaths and injuries are still being reported from time to time, a move that is contributing to unrest in the community.

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