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Faith Nyasuguta

On Monday, an armed group invaded a mega property owned by the family of ex-Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in the capital, Nairobi.

The protesters, loudly chanting Mau Mau slogans, could be heard saying that they too are Kenyans and deserve to own land just like the Kenyatta family. 

Uhuru Kenyatta /Aljazeera/

When local reporters arrived at the scene, scores of people had already gained access to the property. Majority of the protesters were armed with crude weapons including freshly sharpened machetes and clubs. They could be seen carting away farm animals like sheep. 

The gang set trees and bushes ablaze while guards employed to take care of the land watched from a distance as the drama unfolded.

Local journalists spotted a number of public service vehicles parked along the nearby road, and according to witnesses, the looters had arrived in them. Near the vehicles were two armed police officers. However, they did not intervene to stop the looting.

At the same time, unknown vandals stormed the East Africa Spectre Limited which is associated with opposition leader Raila Odinga, the firm’s security boss Humphrey Waswa said in a statement on Monday.

The attack on the Odinga family-owned gas cylinder manufacturer came at around the same time as the raid on Kenyatta’s land.

East Africa Spectra, located in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, manufactures and distributes gas cylinders in Kenya and the region.

Raila Odinga /Nation/

“At around 11.40am today in the morning, a group of around 50 people on motorbikes came around and attacked us and they were being supported by four unmarked vehicles. We suspect that their target was on our managing director because her office is the one that has been damaged,” said Mr Waswa.

Mr Waswa disclosed that the vandals destroyed the property of unknown value and pelted the firm’s managing director’s office with rocks. The opposition chief’s wife Ida Odinga is the company’s MD.

The security manager said the police responded swiftly and warded off the attackers. 

Protests Banned

Over the weekend, police officers had banned the demonstrations called by the opposition. Japheth Koome, the Inspector-General of Police, said Odinga had not been granted permission to hold the protests.

“I ask all Kenyans to go on with their business as usual. We are out to ensure more officers are stationed in different parts of the city to deal with any chaos,” Koome said.

He noted that police officers would not bow to intimidation and would instead work hard to keep the environment conducive for business.

Koome accused the opposition of causing chaos, arguing there are other ways to have their grievances addressed.

After holding what he described as successful protests across the country on March 20, Odinga announced he will lead Kenyans in nationwide demonstrations every Monday and Thursday.

The anti-government protests on Monday entered the second week as the opposition calls for the State to reduce the cost of living and push the electoral commission to open the election servers.

Allies of the ruling part UDA have in recent days accused former President Uhuru Kenyatta of sponsoring the ongoing protests.

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Faith Nyasuguta

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