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Protesters released as govt rallies behind pupils in land row

The suspects were to be charged with malicious damage, incitement to violence and taking part in the riot which police had termed illegal/FILE

The suspects were to be charged with malicious damage, incitement to violence and taking part in the riot which police had termed illegal/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko on Tuesday directed that four protestors arrested by police over the Langata Road Primary school incident on Monday be released.

The suspects were to be charged with malicious damage, incitement to violence and taking part in the riot which police had termed illegal.

During the protest led by the area legislator and activists, police lobbed tear gas to the demonstrators who included pupils of the school. The incident has widely been condemned with the officer commanding the operation being suspended to pave way for further investigations.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday said Government officials who failed to act prior to the incidence will be held accountable.

“It is deplorable the manner in which the police handled those young children and indeed action will be taken against the officers responsible. But what is more disappointing to me is the fact that we even had to get to that level. Where was the Ministry of Lands… where was the National Land Commission? Why did they not resolve this problem; what were they doing?” he posed.

READ: Uhuru blasts officials over teargas assault on pupils

The government has given the developer claiming the disputed land at Lang’ata Road Primary School 24 hours to collect their materials, following Monday’s demolition of a perimeter fence.

Earlier on Tuesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said the government would go ahead and clear the materials if the developer failed to take any action.

“We want to establish the grabber of this land…whoever the person is should take his materials as fast as possible failure to which on Thursday we shall take them,” he directed during an early morning visit to the school Tuesday.

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He said the playing ground will be leveled and the school compound fenced, “since the land belongs to you (the school). The days of land grabbers are numbered.”

The CS also apologised to the pupils after they were tear-gassed and some injured during Monday’s incident terming it as unfortunate.

READ: Nkaissery gives developer 24hr ultimatum on school land

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