Kenya: Night of Chaos in Kibra After Monday Protests

(file photo).

Nairobi — A mosque and a church were set ablaze in Kibra on Monday night in the aftermath of anti-government protests mobilized by opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The fighting between two rival gangs escalated after a series of rallies in the slum addressed by Opposition leaders on the second day of mass demonstrations against the high cost of living and a victory Odinga claims was stolen from him in last year's election.

"What is happening is extremely wrong, religious sites must be left out of this," one local said.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja said county fire engines managed to put out the fire before it could spread to residential houses.

"After a brief initial repulsion, three trucks managed to get to the scene and the fire has been contained from spreading further to households," Sakaja tweeted.

For hours, the fighting went on in Kibra, sparking widespread condemnation on social media where leaders and other Kenyans pleaded with authorities to intervene.

"Just like in Northlands, the police are ignoring calls to intervene in Kibra where outsiders wielding pangas have been mobilized to attack locals. They have set a Church ablaze in an attempt to set residents against each other. We urge our people to exercise utmost restraint," said ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna who is also the city's Senator.

There were no immediate reports or confirmation of casualties from authorities.

Monday's demonstrations were characterised by chaos, particularly in Kisumu where at least one person was shot dead during a violent clash between police and locals who had been barred from marching to town.

In Nairobi, there was massive destruction of property during an invasion at an expansive farm owned by former President Uhuru Kenyatta's family in Northlands where animals were destroyed, trees cut down and others set ablaze.

A similar attack occurred at Odinga's East Africa Spectre Limited, a gas company that was destroyed when armed goons pelted it with stones.

Authorities have not commented on both incidents.

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