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GATED COMMUNITY EXPLOITATION

 Written for DIPLOMATIC LIFESTYLE JOURNAL

March 2017 EDITION | diplomaticlifestyle@gmail.com

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Living in a Gated Community is the envy of many homeowners. It makes them feel as if they are living in an exclusive and secure residence. If the amenities and alternative access roads are properly Designed, Managed and Catered for, then you have no need to worry / be troubled. However, in some instances, this may never be the case especially when unscrupulous residents with egocentric ideas decide to influence or manipulate the Residential Area Decision-Making Process / Organs.

 

To give you an idea of what may happen; we are going to use a Virtual Community Estate / Residence. You may have desired to own your own home with a nice garden instead of renting one. You happen to get a place where you can set up your dream home. At the time of buying land, the place happens to be having few residents since many people have not yet bought the allocated pieces of land.

This Diplomatic Lifestyle Journal March 2017 Article is provided as a free annual article for readers to sample Articles from one of our four yearly Diplomatic Lifestyle Journals  at : http://www.diplomaticlifestyle.wordpress.com

The design of the location is strictly residential to provide residents with a serene, quiet and lush green environment to live in. Soon, the place is substantially occupied. Cases of houses being broken into and thieves getting an easy way out without being caught started to arise. Some of these thieves had the courage to carjack residents. They then had them driving all over the estate while harassing them. Residents came up with a unanimous resolution in their estate meeting to have each Estate Zone Boundary Streets / Routes gated. The initial Estate Master Plan had the estate designed with open zones that allow for the mutual flow of people and cars. To cater for this initial master plan, estate residents decided that all Second Avenues / Access Roads were to be accessible to vehicles in case there is restricted access on the Estate Main Avenue due to cases such as vehicle accidents. They were therefore reserved as Alternative Vehicle Access Routes during emergency cases. The introduction of gates actually helped to curb estate carjacking and to restrict the easy movement / access by thieves.

DIPLOMATIC LIFESTYLE JOURNAL MARCH 2017 EDITION ARTICLE REVIEWS

Residents further decided to introduce Zonal Security Guards. This was done because of some residents had their family members being killed within the estate / being killed elsewhere and their bodies dumped within the estate. Robberies also became violent as robbers began stealing while armed due to restricted escape routes. It should be noted that most of these killings were predetermined as some spouses ordered the killing of their partners for monetary purposes. In other instances, these residents were being killed because of the underhand dealings that they were involved in such as drug trafficking, money laundering, tenderpreneuring etcetera. Some homes were also robbed because of the friends that the family members welcomed into their homes. These friends could see the lavish lifestyle that they were living in or be privy to inside information such as where the house keys are hidden for other family members to access when there is no one around. They could then tell other people, some of whom will turn out to be robbers. Sometimes even these friends could be robbers. In other instances, the people making the gates colluded with robbers to have an increase in their gate sales.

 

The master plan for the Zonal Security Guards was to have each Zonal Avenue / Street paying for the Zonal / Street Security Guards by having each Plot / Homestead contributing an equal amount to the security kitty. The zone had a Main Entrance Access Route from the Estate Main Avenue, which also needed to have a security guard at night and during daytime. To cater for this, two Guards were to be selected by having one Guard being obtained from each Zonal Street / Avenue in planned successions. One Guard was to operate the gate during the day while the other at night.

 

Due to greed and malicious intent, some residents then decided to scrap the idea and introduced independent Guards to operate the Main Zonal Gate. These guards were to be externally sourced and each homestead that had a vehicle required to pay extra charges at the main avenue gate. These monies were to be used to pay the security guards salaries / allowances. Assuming that each Zonal Avenue has 25 Homesteads and that the Zone has five ( 5 ) Avenues. Then the Total Number of Homesteads shall be 25 * 5 = 125 Homesteads. At the entrance street of the Main Zonal Entrance Avenue street, we have an additional 15 Homesteads thereby making a total of 140 Homesteads. The sample layout of the zone shall be as shown in the diagram below.

 

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Diagram ILLUSTRATED BY MBATI V A for the Diplomatic Lifestyle Journal.

Assuming that each Household pays 500 Shillings per month for Zonal Entry Gate Security Charges. The total money collected per month shall be : 500 Shillings * 140 Households = 70,000 Shillings.

 

Annual Gate Security Charges Collection will be  : 70,000 Shillings * 12 Months = 840,000 Shillings.

 

The gate can be manned by two (2) Guards at daytime and another two (2) at night. Each Guard shall be paid 10,000 Shillings. The total Monthly Security Guards salaries shall be 4 Guards * 10,000 Shillings = 40,000 Shillings.

 

Annual Guard Salaries shall be 40,000 Shillings * 12 Months = 480,000 Shillings.

 

Actual Gate Collections = 840,000 Shillings – Actual Security Guard Salary payments (480,000 Shillings) = 360,000 Shillings in excess for the Project Schemers’ to use as dubious payments to line their pockets.

As for the residents, they will find themselves making double security payments when in real sense they are only supposed to be making only one payment. Other residents may even go a step further by manipulating the Zonal Street / Avenue Residents to gate their Zonal Street / Avenue to Residents only. This further curtails free movement of people within the zone due to an individual’s self-centered interests.

This Diplomatic Lifestyle Journal March 2017 Article is provided as a free annual article for readers to sample Articles from one of our four yearly Diplomatic Lifestyle Journals  at : http://www.diplomaticlifestyle.wordpress.com

To avoid being questioned as to where the excess security money is spent. The schemers usually come up with innovative self enriching projects such as Zonal Avenues public spaces cleaning, Zonal Avenues road maintenance fees (even if this is a government project or power service providers initiative to safeguard their transformers from being vandalized ), Zonal open drainage repair and maintenance fees etcetera. In reality, the Project Schemers exploited these zonal projects as conduits to enrich themselves. With time, other residents decided to have their Zonal Avenues totally closed from other Zonal Areas until whole zones were excised from other Zones. In as much as this was beneficial to them, it is actually not beneficial for the estate at large. This is because residents who wanted to walk to the main Shopping Center at the entrance of the estate could not do so while using the estate alternative routes. They were forced to go to the Main Avenue, which exposed them to incessant traffic flow.

DIPLOMATIC LIFESTYLE JOURNAL MARCH 2017 EDITION ARTICLE REVIEWS

Residents who exercise within the estate could not do so as their movement was curtailed or restricted. As a resident, it is always advisable to have an alternative route that you can use in case of the unexpected for example when running away from contract killers that have been hired to kill you. The same-gated community restrictions always act as emergency response delay obstacles. This is so because, if the first responders take a wrong turn, they will have to go back to the main entrance before going to the actual area of response. Police patrols are also hindered, as they cannot move freely within the Estate Zones / Avenues. You therefore end up not having an alternative access or response route in case of an emergency. In some instances, when you enquire from the residents as to why they had their Region / Zone totally closed from other residents, you will be amazed by the ridiculous reasons that they give in the name of Comfort / Security.

 

Given the high stake of private money involved that officials could pocket through Project Prices Inflation; being an official meant that you had to ease on your ethics. If you decided to be a whistle-blower on the underhand dealings of the officials, then all the officials had no option but to defend their secret. They will even intimidate you so that you do not reveal their secret.

 

Should you become adamant, then they had no option but to have you killed. When they decide so, they will ensure that it is done irrespective of whether you are Armed, Have Armed Security / Guards or are trained in Paramilitary / Military tactics.

DIPLOMATIC LIFESTYLE JOURNAL MARCH 2017 EDITION ARTICLE REVIEWS

Another public amenity that these officials may use is to request residents to contribute money so that they could supply each Homestead / Plot with Piped Water or Alternative Piped Water. They can therefore use the Water Project to source for armatures to undertake the Water Piping Services and to provide Expert Consultancy Services as well. In reality, they will cut corners and then pocket the extra money for themselves.

 

These schemes do not just take place in Residential Estates but in most places that have / use shared amenities such as Apartments / Condors. We hope that you are now aware on what may happen when egocentric residents decide to use the residential security system for their own gain.

This Diplomatic Lifestyle Journal March 2017 Article is provided as a free annual article for readers to sample Articles from one of our four yearly Diplomatic Lifestyle Journals  at : http://www.diplomaticlifestyle.wordpress.com

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