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Police,locals clash leaving four dead

By Cyrus Ombati | December 21st 2012

By Cyrus Ombati                    

Four people including a policeman were yesterday killed in a dispute over a piece of land in Twiga Farm in Ruiru.

Three of the victims who are residents of the farm were shot dead by police while the officer was speared in the chest and died while undergoing treatment.

At least five others were seriously injured in the incident that happened as police tried to evict the residents. Police who were in the company of a group of youths were effecting a court order to evict squatters on the land when the clash occurred.

The team of officers had arrived with three bulldozers ready for their operation but was confronted by a crowd that had erected a barrier at the farm’s main entrance.

Central police boss Francis Munyambu said officers reacted when they were attacked by the group armed with spears and stones.

The land is part of the larger controversial Mbo-i-Kamiti farms with police reports indicating several people had illegally settled there. Selasio Kabugu, who said he had been staying there since 1956, claimed the land belonged to close to 800 people.

Bows and Arrows

“We were told the land belongs to Mbo-i-Kamiti who bought it from the late Njenga Karume. But we say it is our land and those are false claims,” said Kabugu, armed with a hoe stick.

Another resident, Mary Njuguna, who had a bunch of arrows and a bow said she would defend her rights. The land is about 1,000 acres and stretches from Ruiru to Githunguri. Its ownership has been in dispute with directors of the farm claiming those residing there were illegal tenants.

Yesterday, residents said word went round that police would be coming to effect an order to evict them. Therefore they decided to arm themselves with assorted weapons.

And when the officers arrived, they met resistance from the crowd

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