Two dead and scores in­jured in Thika chaos

Youths en­gaged cops in run­ning bat­tles

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - JOHN KA­MAU @jaykayGm

Two peo­ple died and scores of oth­ers were in­jured when vi­o­lence broke out at a func­tion at­tended by Kiambu Gov­er­nor Wil­liam Kabogo and his Mu­rang’a coun­ter­part Mwangi Wairia.

John Mwangi, a teacher from Embu, was shot dead by po­lice of­fi­cers who were strug­gling to re­store san­ity, while the sec­ond uniden­ti­fied man was stoned to death by a mob af­ter word spread that he was rob­bing peo­ple.

The Sunday event at Thika Stadium was or­gan­ised by Kikuyu gospel mu­si­cian Muigai Njoroge to launch his lat­est DVD ‘Wakwa Wa Muico’ (My last one).

A po­lice source said Mwangi was hit by a stray bul­let when the of­fi­cers were dis­pers­ing rowdy youths. “The other peo­ple were hard­core thugs. De­spite lob­bing tear­gas at them they didn’t leave, but went on rob­bing lo­cals,” the of­fi­cer said.

May­hem broke out when Kabogo left the pitch with other dig­ni­taries who had at­tended the event and some youths went rowdy, claim­ing that the gov­er­nor had left with­out giv­ing them “tips”. “We are used to get­ting tips from him when­ever we at­tend his meet­ings. Why has he left with­out even talk­ing to us?” a young man shouted.

The rau­cous youths started beat­ing up and rob­bing peo­ple who had at­tended the event, forc­ing po­lice of­fi­cers to lob tear­gas can­is­ters at them and shoot in the air to dis­perse them. The youths en­gaged the po­lice in run­ning bat­tles for more than an hour and dis­rupted transport on Stadium Road and Keny­atta High­way.

Res­i­dents told the Star the youth are thugs from the Kian­dutu slums. Some claimed, how­ever, that ri­val politi­cians used the youth to cause chaos.

Ear­lier, Kabogo al­leged that some peo­ple had hired the youth to rob peo­ple and dis­rupt the event.

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