Residents recount day of chaos as police battled Nasa youth

Wednesday November 29 2017

Cleaning of Manyanja road in Nairobi’s

Cleaning of Manyanja road in Nairobi’s Eastlands underway on November 29, 2017, a day after Nasa supporters clashed with police. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Residents of Nairobi’s Tena estate and areas along Manyanja Road on Wednesday recounted the horror of running battles between police and a crowd that wanted to access the Jacaranda Gardens for a Nasa rally on Tuesday.

Even though an uneasy calm had returned to the area Wednesday, residents who were helping one another to repair their businesses, said they had not recovered from the effects of the chaos.

The teargas used by the police to disperse the opposition supporters could still be smelt in houses and businesses in the area.

On the streets, remains of tyres burnt by youths who were stopped from attending a mass memorial meeting called by Nasa leaders were testimony of the chaos.

Nasa leaders were to preside over a memorial service in honour of people killed in the chaos that rocked Nairobi during the return of Nasa leader Raila Odinga from an overseas trip last Friday but one.

Police had warned Nasa that they would not be allowed to converge at the grounds on the day President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were taking the oath of office for their second term.

Residents said police officers forced their way into their houses, claiming they were looking for looters.

“When teargas was thrown at us while Mr Odinga was speaking, we dispersed but some men were still determined to fight with the policemen,” a resident, Ms Dorothy Akoth, said.


She said policemen kicked open some of the iron-sheet structures’ doors and asked people to get out as they beat them with batons.

“A teargas canister was thrown into the backdoor of my house and the smoke entered my house. My children have been sneezing since yesterday,” she said.

Another woman who was captured being forced out of a food kiosk dressed in a sleeveless pink dress said she sustained injuries on her head, hips and legs after being beaten by police.

“I had run and hidden in a kiosk because some youth who had raided my shop were looting and had threatened to rape me if I did not get out,” she said.

The residents said their businesses remained closed for the better part of Tuesday, denying them their daily earnings.

Some traders claimed that some of the youths broke into their shops and took items before police dispersed them.