East Capital Apartments on Kagundo Road is a den of immorality, a safe haven for Nigerian drug traffickers, a paradise for bhang smokers, battlefield of petty theft and fights and most importantly, home to more than 500 police officers and their families.
Security at the estate is so lax, although armed guards man the gates 24 hours.
This Nairobian reporter drove into the premises on three different occasions when following up on this story, without any screening done by the guards on duty.
An officer revealed how a day never ends without some kind of fight breaking out in the estate because of infidelity.
He points out a woman, sitting on a stool near the gate holding a baby.
“Her husband has fought with another officer twice. He thinks she is cheating on him. She is not the only one. Night fights among different couples are common,” reveals our source.
The worst fear of most residents is that some of the officers go to their homes with guns, and if any ever runs amok one day, then there will be a tragedy.
In most of the buildings, the balconies permeated scents and smells from pilau to stale food, and one whiff, lingers in the air – the sickly odour of bhang.
“Yes, we have some people who use it here, but we are all police officers, so who will arrest who?” asks my source.
As for the Nigerians living in the estates, life is a party.
They wake up late in the day, hang around the house, and invite their compatriots and other shadowy characters.
“They usually come back late in the night with their police girlfriends,” a source said.
Late last year, several apartments, housing female police officers were raided and three kilos of cocaine recovered.
The female officers’ Nigerian boyfriends never went home after the raid but instead went into hiding.
The officers were interdicted. Currently, several female officers still have Nigerian boyfriends living with them in the government issued apartments.
Although all tenants are in the police force, petty theft is so rampant that “You can’t leave your door unlocked with your mobile phone on the table. It will be stolen.
Suede shoes stolen
My brother who had visited me had his suede shoes stolen outside my door. I did not know what to tell him, since all my neighbours are policemen,” said a constable.
He said the petty theft has reached a level where even slippers get stolen if left outside the door.
There are some notorious blocks, he said, urging The Nairobian writer to go ahead and check if any of the tenants has left any shoes or slippers outside the door.
“A few weeks back, an officer who left his house to buy groceries came back and found his radio system missing. There has been a lot of complaints over stolen DVD players and mobile phones,” our source said.
Tension in the estate
The fact that most houses are shared makes the situation worse. Whenever anything is stolen, an officer will instantly accuse his housemate of having a hand in the theft.
“This has brought a lot of tension in the estate. Right now, many officers try to swap places so that they can share houses with members of their own tribes,” another source said.
The 423-unit estate was built in 2010, and the government, suffering a severe housing crisis for the police, took over the estate and allocated two to three police officers per apartment.
Most two-bedroom apartments house two police officers and their families.
A three-bedroom apartment houses three police officers and their families.