Obunga slums on Thursday reverberated with heavy gunfire and ambulance sirens as police led one of the biggest security operations ever seen in Kisumu County.
More than 20 people sustained gunshot wounds and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital could not cope with casualties yesterday evening as ambulances made several trips to the slum, where police broke into houses and beat residents, including women and children.
In Sindo, Titus Ngudi, 14, was shot at Mukende by anti-riot police. Reports that a university student had been killed at Seme could not be confirmed by the time of going to press.
In Nyalenda, a Form Three student, Christine Achieng', was shot in the thigh. "They were moving from door to door, flushing us out and beating us. They shot me as I pleaded for help," said Achieng'.
At 4.30pm, four ambulances were queuing to deliver the injured at the hospital's casualty department.
Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang' Nyong'o expressed shock at the high number of casualties and told the Government to stop what he termed as 'genocide'. He said he would invite the NASA top leadership to Kisumu tomorrow to see the police brutality.
Week of mourning
Prof Nyong'o, who visited the injured in hospital, said he had counted 29 people injured by police. Twenty-six of them, he said, had suffered gunshot wounds.
"I have declared one week of mourning in Kisumu because of the massive bloodshed, and during this time, nothing will happen, including the repeat election on October 28, as ordered by IEBC," he said.
He added: "What is happening in Kisumu is similar to what has been going on in Congo. We cannot allow this."
He challenged Acting Interior CS Fred Matiang'i to explain why innocent Kisumu residents were being targeted.
When asked what was happening in Obunga, the Nyanza Regional Coordinator, Wilson Njenga promised to investigate the matter.
Several people suffered gunshot wounds during the five-hour raid in the slums. A police officer who did not want to be named said they were pursuing youths who had pelted them with stones.
Hesbon Omwayo, a resident, described the raid as savage. "I have been watching it from my balcony. They broke into houses, pulled people out and either shot or clubbed them," said Mr Ombwayo.