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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba


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The days of organised criminal gangs like Mungiki are numbered. This follows the gazettement of tough laws that will give the police and prosecutors more powers to ensure those suspected to be members of a criminal gang either pay hefty fines or are locked away behind bars for long periods. For example, anyone who raises funds, organises or directs members of a criminal gang to commit a serious crime shall, upon conviction, face life imprisonment. The laws are contained in the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act that was gazetted by Internal Security Minister George Saitoti. The laws that came into operation on Thursday spell out tough measures that will deal with criminal gangs by imposing jail term measures, ranging from 14 years to life imprisonment for those found guilty. It also spells out tough measures for those taking or administering oath as they are liable upon conviction to life imprisonment. Gang members who kill, and if found guilty, will cool their heels in prison for life. A person who belongs or professes to belong to an organised criminal group shall upon conviction be fined Sh500,000, or face imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or both. GANG IDENTITY According to the Act, a person is a member of criminal gang by his own admission, if he has been identified to belong to a gang or if one adopts the name, colours, symbol, style of dress and grooming, language and tattoos associated with a criminal group. A person who recruits another to join a criminal gang will also be committing an offence, and will spend 14 years behind bars or part with a fine of Sh1 million or both. Matatu owners may breathe a sigh of relief from criminal gangs who have taken over bus termini, extorting money from their matatu drivers as they now face up to 14 years in prison and Sh1 million in fine or both for extortion or if they threaten any person with injury.