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Police shoot in air, lob tear gas to disperse crowd baying for blood of suspects at Pangani police station

NAIROBI
By Cyrus Ombati | February 12th 2017

Police were forced to shoot to the air and lob tear gas canisters at a crowd that had gathered outside Pangani police station baying for blood of three people who had been arrested with voter transfer forms.

The three had been arrested from a lodging in Eastleigh and brought to the station on Saturday night when the drama broke out.

According to police, they recovered 81 photocopies of identification cards, one photocopy of a passport and 33 voter transfer forms.

A resident of Eastleigh Mohamed Isak Ali claimed he walked to Maslah Lodge along 11th Street and witnessed the process of voter transfer go on Saturday evening.

“This was being done by people who are not officials of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” said Ali who is also a clan elder in Eastleigh.

He said they rushed to Pangani police station and informed officers about the ongoing activities.

“We suspect some of the officers there tipped the people behind the exercise to hide some equipment and materials because when we arrived there we did not find some that we had seen,” added Ali.

It was later established the three were collecting details of eligible voters with plans to transfer them to Mandera North constituency.

The targeted voters are from Kamkunji Constituency. Police said they did not recover any BVR kit as earlier claimed.

News of the arrest of the three spread fast with many claiming they were found with BVR kits, which were stolen in Arabia area, Mandera County.

And as the three were being processed at the station, a crowd surged outside forcing police to shoot in the air to disperse them. The officers also lobbed teargas canisters at the crowd in efforts to keep them at bay.

Ali said they recorded statements over the incident and hoped there will be justice.

IEBC said the three were arrested for being in possession of copies of voter transfer forms and not BVR kit as alleged.

“It is illegal for anyone to purport to be registering or transferring voters without authority from the Commission,” said IEBC in a tweet.

CEO Ezra Chiloba visited the station later on Sunday.

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