A motorcycle and a car destroyed after riots broke out. [Photo: Boniface Okendo/Standard]
Machakos town was held hostage by violence for hours moments after a football match ended at the Kenyatta stadium.
The 6pm to 8pm violence left several people injured and property worth millions of shillings destroyed.
Hell broke loose when the football match between Gor Mahia and Sofapaka ended with the former losing by three to two goals.
The angry fans started throwing chairs indiscriminately inside the stadium, leaving several people seriously injured before the violence spilled outside the stadium on Sunday.
Those standing on their way were not spared as the rowdy fans torched a saloon car and pelted glass doors of shops and banks adjacent the stadium, with stones.
Despite the darkness they would not cave in and anti-riot police had to engage the protesters in running battles firing tear-gas canisters and at times firing gunshots in the air to scare them.
The violence escalated to the town centre forcing business people to close down and those in the town were forced to seek refuge in nearby shops and pubs before they were hurriedly closed.
The Machakos/Nairobi road near the county government headquarters was rendered a no-go zone after the rioters blocked the way.
For some hours there was neither vehicle nor human movement in the town as the football fans, most of who are suspected to have come from Nairobi, fought with the police.
But some fans who were reportedly from Machakos were angered by the riots and joined the police in fighting off the rioters leaving some of their vehicles also destroyed.
Most of those heading home had to remain in various hide-outs for their safety before the violence ended.
Police finally managed to push the violent fans up to Kyumbi junction on the Mombasa/Nairobi road, about 16km away from the town, where they left them heading back to Nairobi.
The shell of the burnt saloon car was towed to the Machakos police station.
Those injured were treated at the Machakos Level Five Hospital. No arrests were made but some of the rioters are said to have suffered injuries in the melee.
The Machakos County Commissioner Ann Gakuria condemned the incident saying it was a primitive way of reacting to loosing a football match.
She said her office would consult with that of the governor to arrive at proposals of banning riotous football teams from playing in Machakos.
“This is so because we can’t afford this kind of anarchy where innocent people are subjected to unnecessary suffering and also loss of property,” she said adding that the team concerned should be compelled to pay for the loss incurred.
She said Machakos residents are known for their hospitality and would not allow outsiders to tamper with their peace.
Equally several people interviewed called for the banning of the team behind the violence.
“We are not used to this kind of violence and if they cannot restrain from that kind of behaviour we shall not accommodate them in our stadium,” said an angry man who suffered a bruise on his face during the scuffle.
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