Gangs go an a rampage burning shops and private residences in Kawangware

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Gangs claiming to be protesting Thursday’s repeat presidential polls engaged in looting shops and private residences in Kawangware on Friday night.

The gangs who seriously injured residents engaged police in running battles in the area commonly known as Kawangware 56.

The confrontation has been going on since Friday night and has so far claimed the lives of three people and injured several others including school children from Ndararua Primary School.

Three Class Eight pupils from Ndurarua Primary School were injured after being caught in the chaos as they left school.

“They are stranded and terrified. They can’t go home because of the current situation, the police are not helping the situation either,” a resident said as she appealed for help.

Witnesses said that at about 5pm, a group of about 100 youth donning dreadlocks arrived in Kawangware from neighbouring Waithaka, Dagoretti South constituency.

A man tries to put out fire using water in Kawangware, Nairobi, on October 27, 2017. PHOTO | THOMAS MUKOYA
A man tries to put out fire using water in Kawangware, Nairobi, on October 27, 2017. PHOTO | THOMAS MUKOYA

The three deceased people were shot dead as they tried to repulse those wielding machetes.

As the situation got out of hand, the youth took advantage and started looting.

Houses and shops were broken into, property carted away as gunshots rented the air all this as all the shops at the junction of 56 and 46 routes, including butcheries, hotels and salons, were razed down.

The gang also tried to burn Waiyaki Way supermarket but it was saved from destruction by the timely intervention of six firefighter engines from the county government.

“Had it not been for the fire engines, we would be talking of massive losses. The fire was huge but they have been able to manage it before spreading,” another witness said.

Tension was rife in the area on the eve of the October 26 fresh presidential election after a group of youths affiliated to Nasa warned residents against participate in the election.

Ms Beatrice Elachi, Nairobi County Assembly speaker, said there was a lot of destruction in Gatina and Kabiru, calling on local politicians to intervene.

“There is a lot of violence in these areas. A woman was raped yesterday and shops were burnt.

“We need to go out and speak to our young people in these areas. We need to agree to live together peacefully,” Ms Elachi said.

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