Anti Riot police officers lob teargas to National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition supporters along Moi Avenue . Photo/Jack Owuor
Eight people were hacked to death and others shot by unknown assailants at dawn in Nairobi yesterday.
And an Opposition MP sustained gunshot wounds, a day before the Supreme Court makes its ruling on the presidential petition.
Parts of the city have been gripped by tension since Friday, when at least 10 people were killed in violence involving the police and opposition supporters who were accompanying their leader Raila Odinga after a trip abroad.
Japheth Koome, the police commander in the city, said investigations had started after four bodies were found in the Mathare Area Four slum on Sunday morning.
“We went there and found those bodies with injuries,” he told a news conference, describing the murders as a criminal act rather than ethnic-driven violence.
Speaking at the St Mark’s ACK, Mukui Parish in Kabete constituency during the Church’s 43rd Anniversary on Sunday, Deputy President William Ruto urged different communities to live together as they have done irrespective of their political affiliations.
He said every community had the right to live in Nairobi and any other place in the country without intimidation.
“We ask police to ensure there is no life lost or property destroyed,” said Ruto. “Every Kenyan has a right to live anywhere in Kenya without intimidation.”
Local leaders claimed that one community was targeted by motorbike-riding gunmen who wore clothes that appeared to be police uniforms. The killings sparked unrest, with groups of youth attacking each other as police were deployed to the area. At least two public service vehicles were touched in retaliatory attacks.
Baba Dogo, Lucky Summer, Ngomongo, Mathare North and Huruma remain on edge. Yesterday rival groups viciously threw stones at each other and the heavy police presence did little to quell the violence.
Most shops remained closed, with no vehicle moving along the eight-lane Outer Ring Road past GSU headquarters for the better part of the morning.
Trouble in Riverside, a small informal settlement bordering Mathare North and Kariobangi, started at around 10pm on Saturday night.
This was only a day after the bloody return of opposition chief Raila Odinga from the US, in which at least five people were killed as his supporters battled the police in a bid to make their way to the CBD.
NASA claims 18 of their supporters were killed.
Fifteen bodies are lying lifeless at the City Mortuary and another three at Chiromo, Raila told the press yesterday.
Billy Obara, a resident of Ruaraka, told the Star that at about 10pm on Saturday, there were noises of people claiming the outlawed Mungiki sect had invaded Riverside.
“I was just about to go to bed when I heard noises calling people to come out, that Mungiki were killing residents. But after some time things normalized,” he said.
However, trouble returned at dawn with gunshots and wailing that the dreaded gang had returned.
A Star photojournalist counted eight bodies at the scene. However, the police said four people were killed.
Former area MP Elizabeth Ongoro said 14 people were butchered on Saturday night, 11 in Riverside and another two in Mathare North.
“Seven bodies were hurriedly removed from the scene as police battled with the people,” Ongoro told the press.
There are claims some of the assailants were on motorbikes and demanded the IDs of their victims before pulling the trigger.
“There were gunshots and noises everywhere. People were shouting … tokeni nje, tokeni nje, wanauwa watu wetu! (Come out, come out, they are killing our people), ”Benjamin Odanga described the incident.
When he walked to where a huge crowed were gathering around Outer Ring Road, five people, four men and a woman, were lying on the ground, in a pool of blood, with gunshot wounds on the heads.
One person was reported to have a deep panga cut. Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch was shot in the leg in the company of Raila.
Oluoch was reportedly shot as Raila addressed a charged crowed along Outer Ring Road, next to Naivas Supermarket.
There were indications that the legislator was shot with a gun with a silencer as most of his opposition colleagues and supporters did not notice.
A gun silencer reduces the loud sound the rapidly expanding gas makes when a gun is fired.
Ongoro, who was in the same car with the MP, claimed it was an assassination attempt.
“I was with him on top of his vehicle, just going around when he was shot. And, thank God, I think they [the police] were aiming at his heart or head, only that there were bumps so the vehicle was not very steady,” Ongoro said at Nairobi Hospital, where the MP is admitted.
Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale also claimed his life was in danger.
Khalwale said on Saturday night, men in two cars claiming to be from the Flying Squad, stormed a Nairobi hotel to arrest him.
“They refused to identify themselves to hotel authorities but stalked me upto 2am this morning,” said the Ford Kenya politician.
Speaking to the press, Raila said the international community must intervene and accused some leaders of inciting communities.
“When you hear leaders begin to make very belligerent statements which amount to incitement, we are driving this country to hell … the international community must intervene at this stage and help to remove this country from the precipice. There is going to be turmoil in our country,” Raila warned.
During the burial of fotmer Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru, Leader of Majority Aden Duale claimed the mammoth crowd that accompanied Raila from the airport were from one community.
“Those who were demonstrating with him yesterday were from one community,” Duale said in a remark that has irked the opposition for profiling communities.
Yesterday, Raila said Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto have refused to apologise for the Friday killings and brutality by the police and instead continue to incite communities.
“We are dealing with people who just came from The Hague the other day. They are already trying to take this country back to The Hague, the way they are doing it,” Raila claimed.
Raila accused the Church of remaining mum in the face of ruthless executions, saying this is the time for voices of reason to speak.
Speaking on Saturday, Uhuru warned that he will “not allow a few people to destroy our country”.
“We have a Constitution and we are a nation that is governed by rules and laws and we must all abide by it, and asking people to respect that is not going overboard. We shall demand that we must continue to be a nation that is guided by a Constitution and lives by the rule of law,” said Uhuru.