|Panic gripped Kakamega on Saturday when hostile youths confronted police over the arrival of displaced families returning to their rural homes.
The distraught families, who included women and children, arrived in a lorry and headed for the police station but were turned away by officers manning the gates.
The returnees later drove to the Muliro grounds and were received by youths who demanded to know what had happened.
Police fired at the protesters to disperse them after they tried to set a building on fire during the commotion.
The families said they had left a camp at Afraha stadium in Nakuru after receiving leaflets warning them to leave for their rural homes.
The twig-carrying youths lit fires and stoned vehicles, causing panic as motorist sped away sensing trouble.
The youths engaged police in a confrontation and tried to force their way into the police station with officers threatening to shoot at them.
But the district CID boss, Mr Michael Mugo, intervened and allowed the families to be allowed into the camp.
The camp at the Kakamega police station has nearly 1,000 people who include 400 children displaced from their homes.
One of the displaced people, Mr Vincent Imbala from Ikolomani division, said 68 people had left Nakuru on Friday.
“We are happy to be home but we are disappointed that police could turn us away when we need their help,” he said.
On Thursday, church leaders from the province said the government should assist displaced families returning to their rural homes to settle. They said some of the families were suffering after being abandoned at markets and trading centres.
The last batch of people from Western Kenya who have been camping at Nyeri police station left the area for their ancestral homes yesterday.
At the same time, nearly 1,000 people displaced from Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western provinces who sought refuge in Othaya constituency received donations worth more than Sh5 million. The donations, solicited by a local caucus — Othaya Development Association –which is chaired by Mr Gichuki Mugambi, were delivered to Othaya town.
“Those affected, who are close to 1,000, will be getting their share through the coordination of the local Red Cross Society officials,” Mr Mugambi said.
The donations include hundreds of bags of maize and beans, cooking oil, mattresses, blankets, soap and clothes.
For those from Western Kenya, the International Organisation for Migration, through the Red Cross Society, organised the travel of the 30 people who were remaining at the station.