By Sylvester Okumu,
Rival gangs clashed in Kawangware as election aftermath reveals a highly divisive nation
Rival gangs clashed in Kawangware area in Nairobi yesterday evening as police moved in to quell the fight between the two groups. Shops were set ablaze as properties of unknown value was destroyed in the melee.
People were seen engaging in running battles with the police even as others rammed shops and looted properties.
Earlier before the groups’ retaliatory attacks emerged, a section of youths armed with pangas and machetes were seen roaming the streets of Kawangware 46 attacking people.
They were allegedly coming from Kikuyu area that neighbors Kawangware.
Residents from the area expressed fear in social media alleging that the group armed with machetes were looking for people who had not voted by looking at inked fingers, and if you were found not to have voted you were dealt with.
One social media user going by the name Apollo_James said that he lives in the area and the disturbing images of the area doing rounds on the internet is a true depiction of what was going on on the ground. “I thank God to have escaped. What you are seeing is real and things are getting ugly here. We call for the police to intervene.”
Yesterday evening an army of police officers and anti-riot force moved into the area to quell the escalating violence but they were met with resistance from the locals.
Teargas was hurled at the locals and smoke would be seen rising from the area late yesterday evening. Sounds of gunshots reverberated the area as police descended scaring away the gangs.
Women were heard screaming followed by stampede as everyone run for their lives fearing police and the accompanying brutalities.
However, it is not yet clear whom the clashing groups were representing, but fears are that they are from the two rival political groups.
Scores were reported to have been injured and at least two people dead from the skirmishes. Shops were set ablaze and it is not clear the worth of damage caused by the incidence.
Concerned Kenyans went to social media to call for calm even as others voiced their discretion with the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to intervene and make sure those responsible for the violence are brought to book.
The incidence comes against a backdrop of highly divisive political campaigns and elections which the opposition boycotted on Thursday 26. As results from the polls keep streaming in President Kenyatta, a leading frontrunner so far has won 98.8 percent of the votes cast. Turnout was low at, a mere 27 percent according to various international media including Al Jazeera and New York Times who have termed Kenyan election a ‘Charade’ and ‘Sham’ respectively.
There were 19.9 million registered voters in the August 8 poll with a turnout of nearly 75 percent. There are fears that the current elections might have been tampered with as witnessed by the low turnout which contradicts the leading candidate votes of 7.1 million according to IEBC even as counting continues.
Yesterday Wafula Chebukati the IEBC chairman in his report to the media said that it is estimated that 6.5 million Kenyan turned out to vote. This contradicts the total number of votes cast which is in excess of 7 million, casting more doubt on the credibility of the polls.