By Cyrus Ombati
|Police officers arrest suspected Mungiki adherents at Mlango Kubwa in Mathare on Thursday. Fresh clashes in the slum left four people injured and several structures set ablaze.
Picture by Stafford Ondego
Fresh chaos erupted in Mathare slums when a group of residents attempted to evict suspected Mungiki remnants.
Four people sustained head cuts inflicted with machetes and about 10 houses were burnt down in the skirmishes at Mlango Kubwa, Nairobi, on Thursday.
Police, who were called in, fired in the air and lobbed teargas canisters at the swelling crowd, and ordered people to disperse.
Consequently, confusion set in, leaving several children and women injured in the melee.
Trouble started by 2am when a group of youths stormed the area and set ablaze structures they claimed belonged to Mungiki followers.
But owners retaliated slashing four people including an elderly man. Using crude weapons, the gang entered into houses, flushing out occupants and torching the houses hours later.
They claimed the occupants were Mungiki adherents who had re-grouped to harass Mathare residents. But a group of women denied the claims, saying there were no Mungiki followers in the slum.
Said one woman: “Since police killed several of them (Mungiki) here, there are no Mungiki people here. These people are harassing us for no reason.”
The women claimed those who attacked them had come from Kosovo area in the slum.
Kosovo was the May battleground where police killed over 20 youths in an operation on Mungiki followers.
Police also dismissed the claims of the return of Mungiki, saying they wanted other competing gangs to leave the slum.
Kasarani deputy OCPD, Mr Mboya Odero, said investigations revealed the two groups were quarrelling over the control of provision of ‘services’ in the area.
“They are fighting over the control of collection of garbage and other services but we are investigating the claims.
Nairobi North DC, Ms Charity Chepkonga who visited the slum said a contingent of police officers would be deployed to provide security and urged the youth to shun violence.