Samuel Kimuiru alias ‘Ngozi’ aka Cika aka Salim was a man feared by all who heard about him. He never hesitated to kill at the slightest provocation. Our writer caught up with one of Ngozi’s confidants and reports about this king of the underworld and his deadly exploits. Unbeknown to many, the grenade attack on Hidaya Mosque in Eastleigh — in which Kamukunji legislator Yusuf Hassan was seriously injured — was executed by Ngozi and his team, and not the work of al Shabaab as was widely reported.
He was arguably the most ruthless of gangsters to have strutted Nairobi streets and estates in recent times. He is known to have killed 15 people including more than six of his accomplices with whom he disagreed with over sharing of the spoils of war.
However, many more innocent victims including businessmen and people he was hired to kill died at his hands.
Samuel Kimuiru alias ‘Ngozi’ aka Cika aka Salim was a man feared by all who heard of his criminal exploits. Those who knew him avoided him like a plague because he would kill at the slightest provocation — even imaginary.
The 25-year-old Ngozi was a father of four children from different mothers.
His mother, a fruit vendor in Eastleigh, continued to ply her trade despite her son’s brutal reputation.
Ngozi (skin) was so nicknamed because of his trademark cutting off skin from all his victims after killing them. He kept his victims’ skins as trophies. One accomplice said the youthful gangster kept his victims’ skins wherever he went.
Ngozi and his gang would be regularly hired and used by politicians in Nairobi’s Eastlands area to intimidate their opponents.
The gang would also receive protection fees from landowners to allow them develop any empty plot. Three businessmen of Somalia origin who resisted the gang’s overtures were brutally murdered.
At one time, they ruled Eastleigh Section III and would regularly swap control of the area with police officers from Buru Buru Police station who patrolled the area in a Toyota Condor referred to as “Murungaru” (These patrol cars were purchased during the reign of Chris Murungaru as Internal Security Minister).
The daring gang would frequently go for shooting practice in Kitui village along the Nairobi River.
Police from Buru Buru, Shauri Moyo and Pangani police stations, administration police officers attached to the Pumwani AP post had pictures of him as a wanted man as did officers from the Eastleigh Section III patrol base.
In 2012, Ngozi and his daring accomplices armed with AK 47 assault rifles thrice took over Gikomba Market very early in the morning and robbed the second-hand clothes dealers of money and mobile phones which they ordered their victims to drop into a huge paper bag as they moved from one stall to another. Thrice, they got away with it despite the heavy presence of police and security guards.
But as the adage goes, he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.
Ngozi too was finally caught up by the long arm of the law. He was among three suspected robbers who were gunned down along the Thika Super Highway on October 23, 2013 after a dramatic cars chase. Detectives from the Special Crime Prevention Unit recovered a white Toyota NZE car, a pistol, handcuffs, a police communication radio and several household goods suspected to have been stolen.
His two accomplices escaped during the 9:45am shooting incident.
Ngozi was buried at the Kariokor Muslim Cemetery in a brief ceremony that was attended by plainclothes police officers who hoped to arrest his accomplices.
Ngozi had converted to Islam three months before he was felled by detectives from the elite Special Crime Prevention Unit who had been trailing him for long.
He and his accomplices are credited with committing most of the crimes including robberies, murders, carjackings, rapes, and burglaries in Sewerage area within Eastleigh Section III and Sun City area, Buru Buru, Kimathi, Bahati, Jerusalem, Maringo and Uhuru estates.
Rumour has it that a paymaster scared of his exploits that had made him larger than life gave security agents sufficient information to justify the ‘elimination’ of the dreaded gangster.
Those who knew Ngozi — especially residents of Eastleigh section III, Biafra, California, Majengo, Gikomba, Kitui village, Kanuku, Kiambiu and Blue estate — could only mention his name in hushed tones lest they be heard by him or his accomplices. The response more often than not would be deadly.
One of those who did not ‘respect’ him paid the ultimate price in December 2012 in Eastleigh Section III.
Simon Ayasi, a 30-year-old father of three was shot in cold blood on December 25, 2012 at an Eastleigh Section III Sun City matatu stage when Ngozi and two of his accomplices wielding AK 47 assault rifles walked to a group of youth seating on a bench and demanded to know the whereabouts of one of their friends.
Ayasi was the closest friend of the man Ngozi and his accomplices were hunting down and when they couldn’t track him down, they chose to vent their wrath on their intended victim’s buddy.
Earlier, Ngozi had tracked his target and established that he was at the Sun City matatu stage but on arrival found that the man had just left the scene.
Angry for missing his intended target, Ngozi turned on Ayasi and demanded to know where the target was.
Eyewitnesses narrated how after throwing Simon down, Ngozi — in broad daylight — pointed the AK 47 rifle seeking for an appropriate point to shoot Simon who tried to shield himself with his hands. In cold blood, Ngozi shot Simon twice in both thighs as he laughed and then shot him twice again in the abdomen. Ngozi then called Simon’s friend who was the initial target and informed him they had killed his friend but would come for him before he and his accomplices walked way.
Eyewitnesses at the scene put Simon in a taxi and rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
But as the three gunmen were escaping from the shooting scene, they encountered an unsuspecting administration police officer who was unknowingly walking towards them and shot him in the thigh.
Another man walking home was shot in the head. The man died at the Kenyatta National Hospital 11 days after the shooting. A female pedestrian was also shot in the arm by the gunmen as they escaped.
Worryingly, many CID officers live in the area yet none of them confronted the dreaded criminals.
Ngozi was involved in many other killings. At one time, a deranged Ngozi is reported to have hacked to death four of his accomplices in Kanoko area within Eastleigh’s Biafra estate — also known as Gwanga — after the four failed to return an AK 47 rifle he had lent to them to execute a robbery.
Police were later called to collect the bodies of the four men.
In early 2012, Ngozi murdered two of his accomplices in Kiambiu slums after a disagreement and later brutally murdered yet another accomplice in the same slum following a disagreement on how to share the loot.
So unpredictable had Ngozi become that two weeks before his killing, he disagreed with his main associate only identified as Nana during a drinking spree and beat him up in a bar within Eastleigh section III.
The accomplice, a Ugandan national, then escaped back to his country fearing for his life. The man had confessed to a confidant that he along with Ngozi and another man were among people hired by a politician to lob a hand grenade at the Kamukunji legislator Yusuf Hassan in Eastleigh.
Another of his accomplices broke his leg while on one of the robbery missions and had been on a cast in late 2013 but has since got it removed.
One of Ngozi’s accomplices Ore Wafula, with whom they had been hired to cause discord between Christians and Muslims especially during the electioneering period, was among five suspected robbers who were shot dead by police during a dramatic shootout at the Kangemi flyover.
Ngozi and Wafula were members of a gang on hire that was responsible for thrice lobbying hand grenades at the Joster Supermarket on Eastleigh estate’s First Avenue opposite California estate to make it look like a terrorist attack. This is after his conversion to Islam in Majengo, Nairobi, and taking up the name Salim.
Because police were hot on his heels, Ngozi bought himself three motorcycles which he hired out to boda boda operators whom he would call to take him from one place to another. He would use helmets to cover his face whenever he rode on the boda bodas.
Underworld operatives have since confirmed that Ngozi and his accomplices were responsible for the December 6, 2012 grenade attack on Hidaya Mosque within Eastleigh during which two people died and Kamukunji legislator Yusuf Hassan seriously injured.
An administration police officer at the Eastleigh patrol base in Eastleigh Section III, only known as ‘Major’ or ‘Bling Bling’, is said to have been hiring his weapon to Ngozi and his accomplices and gave them passage through the AP camp whenever they were escaping from robbery scenes in Biafra estate opposite the camp.
Days before Ngozi and three of his accomplices were shot dead along Thika Superhighway while preparing to commit robbery, he and his accomplices are suspected to have hijacked a female motorist within Kimathi estate and driven her around town before finally dumping her in an open field within Jerusalem estate after forcing her to withdraw money from an ATM.
Ngozi had even threatened to kill the woman but was dissuaded by his accomplices.