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Scores injured in confrontation between police and squatters at Mlolongo

EASTERN
By Peterson Githaiga | May 3rd 2021
Residents of the Kwa Mulinge scheme in Mlolongo, Machakos County, confront armed police officers during a protest [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

Dozens of people were injured following a confrontation between police and squatters over disputed communal land in Mlolongo

Trouble started when the residents of Kwa Mulinge scheme confronted armed police who were guarding workers constructing a road at the disputed land.

More than ten people were also arrested during the commotion that lasted more than four hours.

Among those injured, were old women and children who were unable to escape from the scene.

Waving placards and twigs, the more than two hundred squatters staged a demonstration where they appealed to the government to protect them from people they claim are after their land.

Police lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse the squatters, who in turn hurled stones at the officers.

Residents of the Kwa Mulinge scheme in Mlolongo, Machakos County, confront armed police officers during a protest [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

At one point, police had to fire live bullets in the air to scare away the protesters who claimed some influential people are eyeing their 200-acre ancestral land and vowed to stay put.

"We have been living here for over a decade now. This land was allocated to our fathers by the late Major General Mulinge. We'll not allow these tycoons to take over our land," said John Wanyama, a resident.

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Wanyama who spoke on behalf of the marchers claimed those after their land have unleashed goons on them several times in an effort to scare them into leaving the land.

Athi River police boss was not available to comment on the matter.

Recently, area Deputy County Commissioner Charles Wambugu said Police have beefed up security following increased cases of land disputes. He said police patrols in the area have also increased.

''We have discussed this matter in-depth and have decided to put our officers on high alert in order to monitor the situation,'' said Wambugu.

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