, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 10 – Traders in Githurai are beginning to feel the pinch as protests over the prosecution of a policeman over murder continued for a second straight day.
When Capital FM News visited the scene, stores remained shut in the larger market of Githurai 44 and 45 with only a few stores operating.
Those who spoke to our crew urged the government to adopt mediation instead of using force to disperse the protestors.
“I bought my vegetables yesterday in the morning…I have not been able to sell them because police have been chasing us away while our customers are avoiding this place,” trader Alice Njeri complained.
Another vendor said: “The government should come in and help… we are losing business yet we have kids to feed back at our homes. We rely on small businesses.”
“It is sad that some people are now taking advantage of the situation to even loot,” Peter Munyua pointed out.
The protest has also negatively impacted the transport industry.
“By this time we are normally in our 8th squad (trip) but now we are on our fourth,” one of the drivers on the route complained. “It means less money at the end of the day.”
As they even continue to count their losses, some youths persisted in their engagement with anti-riot police who were manning the busy highway.
The protestors were prevented from barricading the road due to the heavy police presence, all strategically positioned.
Administration Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi however urged those with genuine concerns to follow the constitutionally accepted procedures to air them.
“The incident in Githurai yesterday and today where members of the public demonstrated and blocked the Thika Superhighway was illegal and unacceptable.”
He advised they should instead appoint representatives to push their case.
“The public must also understand that when we apprehend people we will be charging them as individuals for law breaking and they should therefore not be lured into participating in demonstrations and other illegal activities, without understanding the full impact and consequences of their actions,” he affirmed.
“One is always innocent until proven guilty. Unauthorised demonstrations will be firmly dealt with in accordance with the law.”
Titus Musila was charged with murder following recommendations by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority over the death of a suspect last year.
Some residents however insist that Musila should be released and allowed to resume his duties.
“We want our Katitu back, if he comes now we shall all resume to our businesses,” Martin Njoroge who was among those protesting said.
The police officer has been highly praised for “his good service to the community”, more so for his approach in dealing with thugs.
It’s understood that Musila offered amnesty to trouble makers in the area before dealing with them mercilessly.
Musila was last Friday charged over the death of a suspect last year.
He is accused of killing Kenneth Kimani Mwangi in Githurai, Nairobi on April 14, 2013.
IPOA which investigated the death, opened inquiries after a key witness in the trial, Oscar Muchoki Mwangi, was also shot dead on August 24 this year.
The victims were brothers, and the second one was also killed in Githurai, just three days after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ordered the arrest and prosecution of the officer.