They say Nairobi ni shamba la mawe and literally, it is. Everyone in Nairobi is trying to survive. There are conmen and thieves in virtually every corner of the city.
Currently, there are increased cases of people being robbed of their money immediately after they withdraw either at a bank or an M-Pesa shop. The robberies are so systematic that terming them a coincidence is out of the question.
Turns out some bank tellers within the city as well as M-Pesa agents are colluding with robbers to steal from unsuspecting customers. It is said that some of them tip off robbers and share the loot afterward.
How can you be safe then?
Don’t withdraw large amounts of cash unless it is an emergency and you must walk around with cash. You immediately become a marked man when you leave a bank or M-Pesa shop with lots of money.
Utilize your mobile banking avenues. Go cashless. Send and receive cash via mobile and only walk with a sizeable amount of cash to help in incidences where hard cash is needed.
When it comes to M-Pesa, withdraw from agents you are familiar with. Someone who is a friend closer to where you stay. If you must withdraw within CBD, then let it in small amounts.
Not all banks and M-Pesa agents within CBD are bad. Of course, you can withdraw your money but be cautious. Be careful.
Some of the areas reported to be notorious for this vice are River Road, Koinange Street, the area around Kenya National Archives, and Audion Cinema among other places.
Is it only cash?
No. It happens with phones too. You cannot just buy a phone or a laptop from any place within the city. In most places, you will be robbed as soon as you leave the shop. You know what the funny thing is, the thieves will take the same device to the shop you bought from.