Police officer killed in Garissa matatu violence
By Adow Jubat
A police constable was killed and his senior seriously injured in a battle sparked by matatu rivalry in Madogo Division near Garissa town.
A police vehicle was burnt and two guns stolen in the violence that broke out on Monday between two rival matatu associations.
The chaos continued on Tuesday, leading to the attack on the officers who had been called to contain the violence.
Bura North OCPD Gabriel Kuya was seriously injured and taken to Garissa Provincial Hospital’s ICU. He was to be later flown to Nairobi for specialised treatment.
Witnesses said his aide was killed by a group of youths who attacked them in the morning incident.
More police officers were taken to the area as Coast PPO Aggrey Adoli flew to the trouble spot with more personnel.
Transport was paralysed for the second day running and several people caught up in the bitter confrontation over routes were hurt.
The youths from Madogo blocked the Garissa-Nairobi road after a protracted battle with their counterparts from Garissa.
Trouble started after the Madogo Matatu Association chairman Salim Ali Mathei together with seven other youths were arrested by police officers from Madogo on allegations of inciting the other youths to protest and cause mayhem.
The two were arrested after matatus operating in Garissa and Madogo clashed over control of routes in Garissa and Madogo.
The rivals prevented each other from operating from their perceived termini in their respective areas. North Eastern PC James Ole Serian said security teams from Tana River, Garissa and Bura helped restore order.
Over fifteen passengers were injured after their Mandera-bound bus was caught in the fracas by the rowdy youth who erected barriers on the road. The bus was extensively damaged.
The youths lit bonfires and used stones to block the road near the Garissa-Tana River bridge making it impossible for any vehicles to move in or out of Garissa town.
Garissa DC Samson Macharia and the OCPD Felix Munyambu tried to pacify the youths but were instead pelted with stones and forced to take to their heels.
The youths instead said they would only accept to be addressed by the PC and the provincial police officer. They accused the police of bribery claiming that the police favoured the Garissa matatu association.
Speaking to The Standard on phone, Mathei said their Garissa rivals had attacked and seriously injured some of their colleagues and denied them access to their designated Garissa stage.
By the time of going to press, tension was still high in Madogo with youths from Garissa reportedly preparing to fight back.
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