What you need to know:
- Nominated MP Cicily Mbarire accused the government of illegally evicting residents from their ancestral land, an action she termed inhumane.
A parliamentarian and nine journalists were on Saturday arrested as police continued evicting residents from a disputed piece of land at Makima in Embu county.
One person was shot and seriously wounded in the incident.
Mbeere South MP Geoffrey King'ang'i had opposed the evictions in an address to the residents and was consoling those whose shops and houses had been demolished when he was apprehended by police.
One of his aides confirmed the arrest and said he was driven towards Matuu in the neighbouring Machakos County.
Also arrested were nine journalists who had been covering the protests.
They were identified as Dennis Bundi (Meru TV), William Moige (Standard), Solomon Mwaniki (Standard), Joseph Mukundi (Royal Media Services), Brian Musyoka (County FM), Felix Ndambuki (Athiani FM), Peter Mungai (Royal Media Services), Denis Makenge (U-TV) and Mary Wangari (Coro FM).
The MP and the journalists were taken to Matuu Police Station in Machakos.
"Government to blame"
The police had been evicting people from land they claimed belonged to the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (Tarda) when the MP turned up and condemned the action.
Officers numbering about 200 descended on structures in Makima, including those at Ndunguni market, for the better part of the morning.
They took the residents by surprise and carried on despite protests.
The people accused Tarda of using the police to kick them out of land they had occupied for decades. The organisation's officials were not immediately available for comment.
"Some of us have been living on this land since the 1980s," said Elizabeth Muoki.
Another resident, Elizabeth Mwongeli, said they have lost confidence in the government because it has been mistreating them for no good reason.
They alleged a plot by influential people to grab the land, where they noted they had buried their relatives, and called on Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to intervene.
Another resident, Peter Musyimi, said he was born there and did not have any other place to call home.
"We have buried our loved ones here. It is sad that the police have demolished our shops and houses," he said.
John Kilei, whose shop was torn down, said he had documents showing he was allocated the land legally.
Following Mr King'ang'i's arrest, residents registered their support for him, vowing to fight for his release.
"The MP is innocent and should not have been arrested," one said.
Before his arrest, the legislator urged the people to boldly resist the evictions and promised them his support.
Nominated MP Cicily Mbarire accused the government of illegally evicting residents from their ancestral land, an action she termed inhumane.
Kenya Union of Journalists Secretary-General Eric Oduor condemned the arrests, noting the reporters were doing their jobs.
“If chaos broke out, journalists should have been given a safe passage, not arrested. We demand their unconditional release,” he said.