21 December 2012

Kenya: Three Shot Dead, 10 Injured in Twiga Estate Eviction

One of the victims of the police shooting during a violent clash with squatters at Twiga Farm in RUIRU Photo/Ng'ang'a Thairu

Three people were shot dead after a confrontation between police and occupants over a disputed piece of land in Ruiru.

Ten others, including three policemen, were injured during a clash in Twiga Estate as squatters resisted an attempt by regular police, APs and Ruiru municipal askaris to evict them .

The controversial 1,200-acre farm is said to be owned by the Mbo-1-Kamiti Land Buying Company but has been occupied by squatters for four years.

One of the dead died at the farm while the other two died at Thika Nursing Home and Plainsview Hospital while undergoing treatment The more than 4,000 villagers drove back about 100 officers from the farm.

Gatundu divisional police commander Peter Kattam was among those injured. He was shot in the armpit with an arrow and treated at the Thika Nursing Home along with three junior colleagues.

One policeman who had an arrow lodged in his left leg underwent surgery while the rest including Kattam were discharged. Among the six injured civilians, three were rushed to the Plains View Nursing Home in Ruiru where two were admitted and another transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital for specialised treatment.

The names of those who were shot dead were given as Zachariah Gakuo, 30, and 25-year-old Mwangi Kibe. Speaking from his hospital bed, resident Robert Karanja said he was leaving for his place of work around 6.30 am when he heard gunshots.

"The police were shooting at us using live bullets. I was hit in the leg as we scampered for safety," he said. Ruiru police boss David Kirui said the officers were executing a court order when they met resistance from more than 100 youth armed with arrows, slings and stones

"The youth were so violent, the police were not left with no alternative but to open fire in self defense," he said. Kirui showed the press a high court order signed by Justice Majanja on December 3, issued on 17.

Asked to comment on how the three died, Kirui said investigations are underway. But he reiterated that the court order will have to be executed and the police will reorganise themselves for the same.

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