NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – Angry Githurai residents tossed two bodies retrieved from a swamp on Thika Superhighway, in protest of what they termed as a ‘sluggish’ response by police.
This was after the driver of a 14-seater van headed to town lost control flew over the barrier and the pedestrian walk, plunging into an expansive swamp.
According to police and witness recount, about 8 people managed to swim to safety but they say other than the two bodies that were on Tuesday retrieved, more could be still inside.
“The matatu was overloaded at the time…” a local, who claimed to have witnessed the incident told Capital FM News.
The protesters argued that if police had acted fast, the people could have been saved.
“You are just lazy…,” agitated group of youths, hurling stones at police could be heard yelling.
Both side of the highway-towards Nairobi and Thika- were completely barricaded leading to a massive traffic snarl up.
Motorists who refused to toe the line had their vehicles stoned.
“I stayed in traffic for more than 4 hours,” Capital FM News anchor Angela Muiruri regretted. “It was awful.”
Traders adjacent to the affected section of the highway say the youths had overreacted.
“They did not give police time to act. They were violent, and police had to lob tear gas to disperse them,” an angry Margaret Gitu said.
Hundreds of youths in the populous Githurai area engaged police in running battles for more than 7 hours, until more officers were deployed to restore order.