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One dead, five nursing bullet injuries after a shootout between police and protestors at Luanda market

By Nathan Ochunge and Eric Lunga | February 20th 2018

A driver died on the spot after being shot in the chest allegedly by prison officers at Luanda market in Vihiga when matatu operators staged a protest against what they termed as harassment from county askaris.

The protests that took part on Tuesday afternoon also left five people nursing bullet injuries.

Trouble started when the matatu crew blocked all roads leading to and out of the market paralyzing activities of the day, which is a market day in the sub-county.

They blocked all major entry points at Maseno, Kima, Siaya, and Ebuyangu causing a traffic snarl up for over 10 hours.

The irate drivers and touts lit bon fires on the roads. Attempts by Luanda base traffic commander Hannington Mwazonga and Emuhaya OCPD Benson Kilonzo to talk out the crew did not yield any fruits as they were chased away and accused of working in cahoots with the county askaris to fleece them of their money.

The charged protestors destroyed county revenue collecting tools and offices forcing the revenue collectors to scamper for safety.

Trouble started when warders from Siaya ferrying inmates to court in Kisumu were blocked by the drivers and touts who tried to set free the prisoners.

According to Joseck Ang’ana, an eyewitness, the warders retaliated by opening fire on the protestors that left a driver dead and five people with bullet wounds.

Mr Ang’ana said the five were rushed to Coptic Hospital in Maseno and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital where they are fighting for their lives.

“A pupil who was going home for lunch was shot on the hand after he found himself in the mix. The warders were aiming at the protestors," he said.

He said officers from Luanda who responded as reinforcement to the warders lobbied tear gas canisters at the protestors, causing more trouble. 

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