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Residents clash with police after killings

Residents take to their heels after police lobbed tear gas canisters to  disperse protesters at Riverside slum in Ruaraka on November 19, 2017. PHOTO | AFP
Residents take to their heels after police lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse protesters at Riverside slum in Ruaraka on November 19, 2017. PHOTO | AFP  

Protests erupted Sunday in Nairobi’s Ruaraka and Mathare areas following the killings of five people by unknown assailants.

The deaths, skirmishes and destruction of property came a day before Monday’s ruling by the Supreme Court on the validity of the October 26 repeat presidential election.

In the Sunday morning’s protests, residents blocked Outering Road – between Baba Dogo and Kariobangi roundabout– burning three vehicles. They engaged police in running battles as the latter sought to restore normalcy.

By last evening, police officers were still patrolling the area. Mathare Member of Parliament Anthony Oluoch sustained leg injuries during the protests in Baba Dogo area and was admitted to Nairobi Hospital.

And Nairobi police commander Japheth Koome said the killings were not ethnically motivated. “Murder has been committed, but it has nothing to do with ethnic clashes. We are probing the killings and we are confident that whoever has committed that offence will be arrested and taken to court,” Mr Koome said at a Press briefing in his office.

He warned politicians against inciting locals to violence and told them to preach peace.

Security patrols were beefed up in Mathare, Kariobangi, Baba Dogo and other neighbouring estates.

National Super Alliance (Nasa) leaders led by Raila Odinga claimed that there was an elaborate plan to carry out the killings targeted at a particular community.

“What happened must be condemned and we now need international intervention. We are asking our supporters to remain patient and vigilant as this matter must end,” said Mr Odinga.

He was speaking at Nairobi Hospital where he had gone to visit Mr Oluoch accompanied by Nasa MPs.

Mr Odinga and the MPs had earlier Mathare and Baba Dogo to condole affected families and residents.

The Supreme Court is set to rule on the validity of the repeat presidential election.

This is after the closure of the hearings last Thursday last week during which petitioners, respondents and interested parties made submissions before the apex court.

The petitions had been filed by former Kilome MP Harun Mwau, and activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa, who cited non-adherence to the Constitution as the ground upon that they sought the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win.

James Ngunjiri, Stella Cherono, Silas Apolo and  Kennedy Kimanthi

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