50 houses razed as Mathare gangs clash

December 29, 2012 8:36 am


Residents left homeless after the clash consider their options/MIKE KARIUKI
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 29 – Residents of Nairobi’s Mathare slum on Saturday expressed fears over further attacks as tension remained high in the area after rival gangs razed over 50 houses in what police termed as retaliatory skirmishes.

One of the victims whose house was damaged told Capital FM News that there was ongoing rivalry among the slum residents and expressed concern more attacks would occur if adequate measures were not taken to arrest the situation.

“The houses were razed because of hatred among people. People on this side and people on the other side are not getting along but I don’t know what is causing these differences. So many people have been affected,” the resident asserted.

According to the resident who identified himself as Maish, calm had returned during the day but he feared that there would be more attacks at night.

“For now calm has returned, but this is because it is during the day. At night we fear that people will be attacked again. We really yearn for peace and something has to be done to promote unity in this area. Nobody wants to lose property or get injured and nobody wants to live in this kind of tension,” he said.

Most of the residents feared for their lives and opted not to speak to the media to avoid being identified by the groups causing havoc in the area.

According to Nairobi Police Chief Moses Ombati, the clash was caused by an attack earlier in the week where three people were killed.

He said one of the people killed was suspected to be a police informer.

Police also ruled out any political or tribal causes for the violence that left hundreds of people displaced in the cold with ongoing heavy downpour being experienced in most parts of the country.

No arrests had been made but anti-riot police had been deployed to the area to restore sanity.

Mathare is prone to perennial criminal activities which include robberies and among other harassment of residents by illegal groups.

Security agencies have many times been challenged to contain criminal acts that leave people dead, displaced, injured and their property destroyed.


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