Kitengela anarchy: IDs, documents destroyed as government offices torched

Uncollected IDs destroyed as protesters torch DO's office

An unknown number of uncollected national identity cards and government documents were destroyed Wednesday after protesters torched the offices of Kitengela's assistant deputy commissioner and local chief.

The offices went up in smoke in the evening.

Earlier, rowdy anti-government protesters engaged police officers in running battles with the aftermath leaving two civilians nursing gunshot wounds.

The hundreds of protesters, mostly youths, paralysed all businesses in the populous town as well as transport along the busy Namanga road.

They lit bonfires on the road and barricaded the road using stones while chanting anti-government slogans. The usually peaceful town was turned into a battlefield for the whole day.

"The living cost is too high for the common mwananchi. The government has refused to hear our cry. We will fight to the end," said a protester.

For five hours, gunfire ripped through the air and a blanket of tear gas smoke enveloped the town, forcing traders to flee for safety after closing their shops.

The protesters overpowered the heavily armed regular police officers who got backup from their Kitengela Prison colleagues.

Kitengela police station

Police officers repulse protesters who attempted to raid Kitengela Police Station.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho I Nation Media Group

In two different instances, the rowdy rioters pushed police officers to the Kitengela police station almost gaining entry by force.

The officers were forced to erect a human barrier. Police officers who were off duty got out of their houses to repulse the rioters.

"Advance! Advance! Don't let them enter the police station," the commander's voice could be heard giving orders to his officers.

The officers had a hard time guarding the police station next to the temporary Kitengela retail market.

At one point a civilian grabbed riot shied from a police officer. Police Land Cruisers were also pelted with stones.

During the skirmishes, five people including three police officers were injured and rushed to Kitengela sub-county hospital. Injured civilians suffered gunshot wounds.

Hundreds of trucks ferrying goods from the Namanga border were stuck at Maili Tisa, Nkatatoek and Ilbisl town costing Kenya millions in trade money.