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Igembe South MP roughed up, car donated by President Uhuru damaged

POLITICS
By Phares Mutembei | September 15th 2020

President Uhuru handing over Prado keys to Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi in 2017. [File, Standard]

Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi on Friday got injured in a development event that turned political in Maua, Meru County.

A Toyota Prado gifted to the youthful MP by President Uhuru Kenyatta was also damaged.

Mr Mwirigi, 27, was manhandled and punched in a function organised by Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance Executive Director Mithika Mzalendo, and attended by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Eala MP Mpuru Aburi.

Mzalendo launched a sunflower farming programme to cushion the miraa growers from adverse effects of its ban in most of the lucrative markets, especially Somalia. Mr Munya was the chief guest at the event.

Mr Mwirigi had arrived at the venue with a group of supporters, to the chagrin of supporters of Mr Mithika-one of his opponents in the 2017 parliamentary poll.

The Kanuni Assistant County Commissioner's grounds became charged the moment Mwirigi arrived at the venue.

At first, it was relatively calm as speakers at the event dubbed Tujiinue Tena addressed the crowd.

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But as the time for MCAs and MPs to address them drew closer, a section of Mr Mwirigi's opponents demanded he is denied a chance to address the gathering.

The MP's supporters were overwhelmingly outnumbered and his voice was barely heard.

Mr Mwirigi tried to speak but no avail as Munya, Mpuru, Mithika and others looked on.

Giving up, Mpuru took the microphone from him and closed the meeting after which he, Munya and others left the venue.

But it was while Mwirigi was making his way to his car that the hostile crowd blocked his exit as his few bodyguards and supporters tried to shield him.

He gained the safety of his car but after much shoving and insults being hurled at him.

Mwirigi did not take it lying down and it was during the melee that he was punched, but he also responded as he tried to get away to safety.

Outnumbered and outfought, his bodyguard drew his pistol and fired in the air, as the police tried to create a safe passage from the area.

Police officers who were escorting the CS and heard the gunshots came and saved the situation.

The officers rushed back and helped contain the crowd and enabled Mwirigi to be driven out.

Mwirigi was rushed to Maua Methodist Hospital before reporting the matter at Maua Police Station.

Igembe South OCPD Henry Akongó said the MP was also hit with a stone but did not sustain a serious injury.

"We are taking his statement at the moment," said the OCPD.

Mr Mwirigi said he had suffered injuries and sought treatment. “Yes, I was injured. I was not an intruder at the meeting, I had an invitation letter,” he said, and showed the letter.

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