Chaos in Kenyan suburb after 7 shot

March 11, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – Families of taxi drivers shot dead by police in Kawangware on Wednesday night are demanding a thorough investigation on circumstances that led to the killing of their kin.

Many of the family members and friends of those killed were among thousands of demonstrators who engaged anti-riot police in running battles in the area for the better of Wednesday before they were violently dispersed.

One person was shot and seriously wounded during the chaos.

“We want to know why the police are acting with impunity, why did they have to shoot at innocent taxi drivers who were on duty,” Lucy Nyambura whose uncle was killed said.

“Even his vehicle is there, I can not believe he is dead,” she added.

Another protestor who only identified herself as Njeri said “We have been trying to reach our brother and only realized his phone is, we did not know he is dead until this morning when we came here and we have seen his body in the mortuary.”

A taxi driver who witnessed the incident said he was too lucky to be alive.

He recalled how one of the taxi driver had a confrontation with a boda boda operator who fled and went to inform the police that they were under attack.

“And when the police came, they just started shooting at us, and I was able to hide under one of the vehicles, that is how I survived, but seven of my colleagues were killed,” the taxi driver said.

“We know all of them by names, they are people we have been working here you can even see their vehicles are there,” he said as he showed our crew the vehicles which were parked at a fuel station.

Efforts by area Member of Parliament Beth Mugo to calm the residents were thwarted when a group of youth pelted stones, forcing police to fire live ammunition and lob tear gas at the mob just as the Minister was beginning to address them.

Mrs Mugo’s bodyguards immediately whisked her away and retreated only to resurface after about an hour when she managed to give her address.

“This is police brutality, and we are demanding a thorough investigation, those responsible must be made to account for their actions,” she said.

Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe later told a news conference the matter was under investigation.

“The Commissioner of Police is personally concerned at what happened, I wish to inform you that inquest files on all the seven people killed have been opened,” Mr Kiraithe said.



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