Man shot dead as Kinangop residents protest over wind power plant

What you need to know:

  • Residents attempted to storm the Magumu Police Station in a bid to free nine colleagues arrested on Monday during a protest against the power project.
  • Nyandarua South police boss Samson Munyao had to speed off after panga-wielding residents smashed the windscreen of his official car.
  • Efforts by senior government officials, including Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge, to address the crowd did not yield fruit.
  • Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge asked the residents to decide whether they want the project to go on or have it cancelled.

A dispute over a Sh13 billion wind power project in Nyandarua turned ugly Tuesday when a man was shot dead in a confrontation with police.

Residents attempted to storm the Magumu Police Station in a bid to free nine colleagues arrested on Monday during a protest against the Kinangop power project.

The nine were accused of incitement.

At the same time, two women were injured in the melee when police unleashed dogs on them and fired in the air to disperse the demonstrators who were forcing their way into the police station.

“The mob had threatened to burn down the police station,” said a senior officer.

“We tried to storm the police station but our efforts were thwarted by the police who fired at us,” said a resident.

Nyandarua South police boss Samson Munyao had to speed off after panga-wielding residents smashed the windscreen of his official car.

He sought refuge at Magumu Police Station.

Efforts by senior government officials, including Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge, to address the crowd did not yield fruit.

RESIDENTS CLAIM THEY WERE DUPED

The residents have been opposing the project, saying they had been duped into believing that it had no environmental effect on their land.

Some of the residents were to lease portions of their land for the project, only to realise that they would not be able to cultivate crops on the remaining section because of pollution caused by the power plant.

They have also complained that despite leasing 160 square metres each, the project owners took title deeds for their entire pieces of land.

However, the project managers have allayed fears of health or environment hazards from the plant, saying it had been given the green light by the National Environment Management Authority.

Wednesday, Mr Njoroge asked the residents to decide whether they want the project to go on or have it cancelled.

“If they want the project to be halted, so be it,” said Mr Njoroge.

He dismissed claims the plant has dangerous health implications, adding that wind power is the safest form of energy.

“There is a misconception about the project,” he said.

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