Murang'a town's Kayole estate has gained notoriety as a bottomless pit for the area’s children.
It is home to bold bhang dealers and smokers, a place where police seem to be cheering them on.
The estate that came into being in 1976 sits on county government land and has about 30 cubicles measuring about 10 by 10 feet allocated to individuals who rent them out.
Each cubicle has tenants paying Sh1,000 a month. Their current market value is Sh150,000 each.
one of the cubicles do not have tenants because of the insecurity in the surrounding area. The vacant spaces have been turned into hiding places for the town's crooks.
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Others have been transformed into khat and alcohol enterprises where idle youths are seen loitering late in the night.
The estate is supposed to be an open-air market which in 2013 the county government attempted to allocate to traders, but violent confrontations ensued between land grabbers and residents, sabotaging the exercise.
In 2008, then area District Commissioner George Natembeya (now Trans Nzoia Governor) oversaw the demolition of high-rise buildings constructed by the grabbers.
This environment made it easy for bhang dealers to capture the estate. One of them is said to run a wholesale supply chain right under security officials’ noses.
The officers have the names of all the eight area bhang traders and have documented how supplies come from Moyale via Makutano town and later along the Sagana-Murang'a road, but there seems to be no will to decisively order the annihilation of the network.
Bhang smoking zones
So daring are the peddlers and their customers that they have allocated themselves bhang smoking zones at Grogan, Sagana stage, near Mbiri Primary School, near River Muraru on the way to Mjini Estate and Mumbi grounds.
The other favourite smoking zone is along the way leading to the two public mortuaries.
Some street peddlers of the drug fake mental instability to progress the trade.
"We are used to the bhang-smoking culture in this town...We have come to accept it as one of the ingredients of our life. What is alarming, though, is the future that is being destroyed. Most of the consumers are students of both genders in town-based educational institutions," said a tout at Mugoiri matatu terminus.
One common feature of the town,” he adds, “are students hollering like hoodlums in a ghetto, hopping from one bar to the other late into the night, defying closing hours and wasting their present and future with total abandon.”
At the terminus is a gambling den that operates full-time, with clients puffing on the drug. Police are alleged to collect Sh200 every evening from the managers as a protection fee.