U-Turn: Drama as Kenyan rioters target Raila, Kenyatta businesses
Nairobi – Dozens of goons on Monday 27th invaded an expansive land owned by former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family at Kamakis on the eastern Bypass in Nairobi and looted property of unknown value.
A similar attack was reported at gas cylinder-maker Specter East Africa, a company that is linked to the family of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is leading anti-government protests.
The Kenyatta land was invaded by a gang wielding machetes and clubs around 9am on Sunday. They stole sheep, cut down trees and burnt bushes as others did mock sub-division seemingly with intent to grab the property.
The motive of the invasion is yet unclear. There were no police officers to eject the gang from the property located 20km from the city center and on which the Kenyattas plan to build the multibillion-shilling Northlands City. When the Nation team arrived at the scene, guards watched helplessly as the mob cut down trees and lit bonfires.
“We are sons and daughters of Mau Mau and we are here to claim what we believe is ours. This land is too big and we shall divide it into several pieces because we also want a share,” said a member of the gang, alluding to the group that fought for Kenya’s independence from British rule.
The gang went on a looting spree, stealing and butchering sheep and goats at the farm. Some sold the slaughtered animals to motorists along the highway for as little as Sh2,000.
Scenes yesterday were a far cry from past experience, where the land was heavily protected by armed police officers on horseback. The mob attacked journalists to block them from filming the anarchy. Nation crime reporter Steve Otieno was roughed up, his clothes torn and mobile phone stolen.
The gang members had spotted one of the Nation journalists taking photos and demanded that he delete the pictures. Other journalists from NTV were also chased away from the property by the goons who stoned a Nation Media Group vehicle.
Witnesses said some of the gang members were ferried in buses.
“Hawa walikuja hapa na haya magari wengine walitokea pande za Ruiru na wengine pande za Mwihoko (The gang was ferried here by PSVs, some came from Ruiru and others from Mwihoko),” said a boda boda operator who said he witnessed the buses arrive. As the mayhem unfolded, two armed uniformed police officers kept watch near the buses.
Brookside Dairy and Peponi School are situated inside the vast property. Gicheha Farm, which is the family’s livestock rearing business, is also located there. The family of the former Head of State wants to put up a mega city on the property.
The Northlands City master plan will be executed in four phases over a span of 50 years.
Interestingly, on March 18 2023, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwah had alluded to the invasion of the Kenyatta property.
“Even those big lands, we will invade and those without land will be settled. Don’t think only the ordinary Kenyans will lose their property. Even you will pay a price if you continue to instigate violence and bloodshed in this country.”
“That is my message to Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, the sponsor of Azimio [la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party] and the mercenary that is Raila Odinga,” Mr Ichungwa said at Kianyaga High School where he had accompanied Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on a visit to his (the DP’s) former school.
However, it was not clear whether these threats had anything to do with the invasion of the land on Monday or they were just made in jest. And at Mr. Odinga’s Specter East Africa on Mombasa road, thugs riding on about 20 motorcycles each carrying three people and a private vehicle stoned the premises.
The gang broke the window panes at the sentry box as well as one of the window’s to the office of Mrs. Idah Odinga.
Guards said the attackers did not enter the compound that is reinforced by a perimeter wall, electricity fence and manned by CCTV cameras on a 24-hour basis.