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Hooligans descended on me with kicks as I locked shop, says guard

COUNTIES
By Brigid Chemweno | May 18th 2016

A guard at a city shop is nursing injuries after he was attacked by hooligans during Monday’s Opposition protests.

George Owino, a guard at a shop at I$M Building along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi, said the hooligans descended on him with kicks and blows as he attempted to hurriedly lock the shop.

Owino, 50, a security guard with ‘A Team Security’, said knowing Monday to be anti-IEBC protest day, he was vigilant so as to protect his client’s property from looters.

“It was at noon and I was outside the shop trying to get a glimpse of what was happening in the city. Meanwhile, I saw a group of about 50 youths moving hurriedly along Kenyatta Avenue shouting as they snatched phones and handbags from passers-by. I entered the shop and notified the shop attendant about the situation outside,” said the guard.

“I decided to lock the shop from outside because the situation was getting out of hand,” he added.

In less than ten minutes, in what appeared like a horror movie, youths armed with rungus and stones surrounded him as he tried to lock the shop.

Sensed danger

He said he also witnessed a man get robbed of his mobile phone by the mob, which also stripped him naked and took his clothes. In the twinkle of an eye, he said, the same group surrounded, robbed and stripped a woman who was passing by, taking all her belongings.

“I sensed danger and decided to close the shop. Suddenly, a group of five men surrounded me and hurled insults at me, questioning why I had closed the shop, saying ‘Hii duka si ya baba yako’ (this shop does not belong to your father),” he said.

“They were armed with metal bars and long pieces of wood. They descended on me with kicks and blows and one of them aimed a metal bar at my head. I blocked it with my arm, which got injured and began bleeding profusely. They vanished after accomplishing their mission, leaving me in pain, said Owino.

A Wells Fargo guard at I$M Building came to his rescue and administered first aid on him. He was later treated and discharged at Kenyatta National Hospital.

“My employer is aware of the matter and I have been granted days off to recover,” Owino, who had a bandage around his arm, said when The Standard caught up with him yesterday.

“Most of them were young people under 20 years. They looked like they knew the central business district very well. They came from different directions and seemed to be on a looting spree. They stoned vehicles as they marched in the streets. Public service vehicles were forced to turn in undesignated points to avoid them,” Owino added.

Businesses came to a standstill during the protests, with traders opting to close their outlets.

Kenyans going on their daily businesses had to seek refuge in fast-food outlets or Government offices like Huduma Centre and Nyayo House for their safety, as the streets were left to the hundreds of protesters who took charge of the town for almost a whole hour.

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