Clash over Kiganjo market project in Thika leaves several injured

Thika Town MP Alice Ng'ang'a. [Standard,File]

Several people have been injured after two factions clashed over a market project in Thika.

Supporters of Thika Town  MP Alice Ng'ang'a and Kamenu ward MCA Peter Mburu faced off over the construction of the Kiganjo market within Kamenu ward, with both leaders claiming credit for the project.

Ng'ang'a, who had led other MPs including National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Gabriel Kagombe (Gatundu South), Elijah Njoroge (Gatundu North), and Ngoliba ward MCA Joachim Njama in launching the market, said that the National government has set aside Sh 55 million for the project.

She said that the project was a promise by President William Ruto to Kiganjo residents that his administration would put up a decent facility for them to trade in.

She accused the Kiambu County Government, led by Governor Kimani Wamatangi, of trying to hijack the project and claim the credit, adding that earlier some hired goons had threatened to disrupt her meeting.

However, hell broke loose when Ng'ang'a led fellow MPs to officially break ground for the project. They found the MCA holding a meeting at the land parcel where the market is being built, and his supporters had already subdivided the parcel and started putting up structures.

A confrontation ensued between supporters of the two factions. Supporters of the MCA started hurling stones at the MPs and Ng'ang'a's supporters, forcing police officers to throw teargas and fire into the air.

An aide to Ng'ang'a was rushed to the hospital with serious head wounds after being hit with a stone.

On Thursday, the Kamenu Ward MCA had spearheaded slot allocation to traders, insisting that the market would be built by the local government to end traders' woes.

Mburu called out unnecessary competition between the national and county governments over the construction of markets, saying the function is a constitutional mandate of devolved units.

He said the project would open up the area after years of lagging behind in infrastructural development.

Earlier, Ichung’wa said that the market projects within Kiambu County are fully funded by the National Government with the aim of providing traders a conducive environment to work in and improving the region's economy.