Cops storm Mathare peace meeting, order people to leave

Plain clothes police officers on Wednesday stormed a peace meeting in Mathare slums, Nairobi, and ordered those present to leave.

The officers, well-known to residents, are said to have suspected that attendants were making plans to paralyse operations in the area ahead of NASA’s major announcement.

The Opposition said it will address Kenyans today but there is uncertainty as the declaration was postponed from Tuesday.

Alphonse Were, leader of Mathare Peace Initiative Kenya, said they called the meeting to discuss issues affecting the community.

“We were meeting at a social hall within Hospital ward when police in civilian clothes with walkie-talkies stormed in and ordered us to leave,” he said.

“We know some of the officers…we tried to explain what was going on and asked them to let us proceed but the inspector was not convinced and continued to ask us to leave.”

Were said people were forced to scamper to safety from the meeting convened in partnership with Peace Net Kenya.

He noted there is still tension within the area following weekend-long post-election protests.

Residents took to the streets shortly after IEBC declared Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the presidential election. Their candidate Raila Odinga has not conceded and has raised concerns about the election, key among them being rigging.

Were said a majority of residents are yet to accept the electoral agency’s decision and that it is important for such meetings to take place to guarantee co-existence.

An eight-year-old girl was shot dead during protests in Area Two last Saturday while nine men were reportedly killed by police last Friday.

In Kisumu, a six-month-old baby died after she was reportedly clubbed by a police officer as they raided homes in search of protesters.

More on this: Matiang’i denies use of live bullets, deaths in post-election protests

Another meeting is taking place in Kibera’s AIC church. Women have come together to express their disappointment and anger following weekend protests.

They said police were aggressive and used unnecessary force against residents and protesters.

(Additional reporting by Larry Asego)

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