Harun Ibrahim, a reformed criminal narrated how he survived five mob justice ordeals, the fifth one leaving him for dead.
“I saw a cash box full of money and hatched a plan to rob the proprietor” Ibrahim on True Ghetto Story. Tipsy, he had no idea he had been recognized. Although they managed to commit the robbery, he was to be followed later at night at his place. They broke into his crib, cut him with machetes, hit him with clubs and stones.
‘I bled until I passed out. It is the police who saved me and took me to Kenyatta National Hospital,” he said.
“At KNH, I was kept waiting for an hour without first aid, my body oozing blood from the deep cuts.” He then asked the girlfriend to book a taxi to the nearest affordable hospital for treatment. Cautious not to get arrested for the crime, he avoided ward admission. This became his turning point away from crime.
Is Mob Justice, Justice?
Mob justice is on the rise in Kenya and seen as lack of faith and failure in the justice system causing people to take law into their hands. Although unlawful, Ibrahim admits that in all occasions they returned what they had stolen and were punished severely giving the society and victim a just feeling.
Contrary to perceptions, he says unemployment is not the main motivator to crime. He alludes it to drugs, a burning desire for a bad boy image and peer pressure. To justify, he admits that they had never committed crime while sober. They could take different sorts of drugs depending on an individual to gather courage. Even after a harrowing mob justice ordeal, he would be driven to it again for fear of being branded a coward but a kingpin.
He once witnessed his gang member beaten with all sorts of crude weapons for hours and later burnt.
“They put him in a tyre, covered with blanket and set him ablaze,” Ibrahim narrated.
Unnoticed by the crowd, he painfully watched his friend burn. Even though his friend saw him, he never revealed him to the mob. Earlier they were together in the same scene but managed to escape only to come back and witness his death. One would expect such an experience would deter one from crime but instead he viewed his friend as a hero and soldiered on with crime. This time with a bigger bad boy title.
The first ordeal saw him survive through a mother’s empathy. After being beaten and hacked with machetes, the woman he had robbed upon seeing him denied the incident just to save him from more torture and police arrest. He was to be set free but from an extrajudicial killing jaw at a cemetery site. The second ordeal was at Accra Road in town and the third and fourth in Kibra where he is born and raised.
A Reformed Ibrahim
He remorsefully regrets and would wish to directly apologize and refund his victims if possible. Now a garbage collector leading a CBO, he is reformed and dedicates his time to engage the youth on the dangers of crime. He appeals to the government to aid him and other reformists to fight crime by reforming others.
#TrueGhettoStory airs on Ghetto radio every Thursday from 8-10AM and is hosted by MajiMaji also known as Julius Owino and King Kafu also known as Nicholas Cheruyot. It features inspirational and educational stories impacting the society.