NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – A seventy-six-year old man was shot dead as evicted traders engaged police officers in running battles at Nairobi’s Kangemi market on Monday.
According to witnesses, a police officer shot the potato trader at close range as the police engaged the protesting traders. The elderly man is said to have been defending a female trader from harassment by the said police officer.
“I was standing just besides him and I thought they were just talking but after a small scuffle he shot him,” said Caroline Wanja, a daughter to the victim.
“My dad asked him why he had hit the woman trader. Then when he turned the police shot at him then ran away.”
The irate traders blocked the police from taking away the body, degenerating into a standoff with a handful of police officers standing vigil. The traders blocked a section of the busy Nairobi-Nakuru highway causing a major traffic snarl up.
“We want the OCPD (Officer Commanding Police Division) to parade his officers so we can identify the one who shot him,” said one of the traders.
A bulldozer from the Nairobi City Council flattened the market stalls in Kabete on Tuesday night. The traders now claim that powerful people had grabed ‘their plot.’
“We want the Provincial Commissioner who moved us here to come and tell us what has happened,” said another disappointed trader.
Amnesty International has protested the move saying most of the market traders – the majority of them women – lost all their goods and have had their livelihoods destroyed.
Kabete Native Industrial Training Department was established in 1974 by workers constructing the highway. The land is owned by the Veterinary Department , although there have been other claims of ownership and repeated threats of forced eviction.