The Star (Nairobi)

4 December 2012

Kenya: APK, TNA Supporters Engage in Running Battles At Maua Town

Violence rocked Maua town on Sunday afternoon after supporters of Alliance Party of Kenya and The National Alliance engaged each other in running battles.

The violence led to stoning of vehicles and the arrest of 20 youths. Two vehicles branded with TNA colours and belonging to Igembe North MP Mithika Linturi were also destroyed.

The two groups clashed outside the Maua Methodist Hospital after a team of youths led by Linturi held processions close to the church where Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi was attending a church service.

Agitated followers of the APK retaliated by stoning TNA supporters prompting police officers who were on standby to unleash tear gas canisters to disperse the charging crowds. The two parties were to hold rallies held less than 500 meters apart.

Kiraitu expressed disgust over the chaos and termed the move by TNA fans to disrupt their meeting as "retrogressive politics" which have no place in current day politics.

However Linturi said the TNA youth were not the problem and accused the APK youth of provoking TNA supporters. He called on the Meru community and APK leaders to disembark from the bus.

Linturi lashed out at Kiraitu and accused him of wanting to auction the Meru people through APK. He alleged that Kiraitu is a selfish politician who wants to seek glory through APK.

Kiraitu who is seeking the Meru county senator said Kenyans need to uphold peaceful campaigns and avoid violence. Kiraitu was to later on hold a fundraiser for the Igembe South aspirant Martin Mutuma. Two vehicles that were leading the procession were arrested and have been retained at the Maua Police Station.

Other leaders from the community who issued their statements over the chaos called upon the community to embrace unity and avoid escalating the differences between the sub tribes of Imenti, Tigania and Igembe which might lead to more pre election chaos that might spill over after the elections in march next year.

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