Kenya: Tension simmering in Kisumu City
Posted by African Press International on September 17, 2012
MAURICE ALAL, reporting from Kisumu. Kenya
Tensions have engulfed the streets of Kisumu City of Kenya following the skirmishes between two rival groups dubbed the “China and “America” on retaliatory attacks that have paralyzed business activities in the region.
The skirmishes are reported to have started on Saturday night when members of the China group attacked a member of American group whom they beat up at a supermarket.
The man is said to have sustained serious injuries that angered his group members who vowed to take law into their own hand if no action were taken immediately by the police.
When they learn that no arrest has been made over the attack the angered youth armed with pangas, swords and rungus destroyed several
business premises worth millions of shillings before engaging the police in a running battle forcing police to lobby tear gas canisters to quell the high tense situation.
The Americans groups also looted several butcheries belonging to one of the China group leader. During the incident a vehicle was burnt within the Central Business District (CBD) of Kisumu City in the revenge attacks.
It also emerged that the two rival groups have not been in good terms with each group wanting to control the business kiosks and political rallies held in the region.
However, the Americans are accusing the police of taking side with China group making them not to take any action despite being informed about the incident prior.
“We informed the police over the attacks. We also gave them an ultimatum that failure to arrest the attackers we would take law into our own hands,” said the angered group, adding that police know the attackers and found them with the crude weapons but failed to made an arrest.
The District Commissioner and top police Willy Cheboi and Musa Kongoli confirmed the incident saying several people have been arrested over the attacks with some arraigned in court toady and charged with assaults.
The incident has left several youths with seriously injuries. The ongoing tension today saw the charged group (America) stormed the Kisumu High Court demanding for the immediate arrest of a suspect said to have sought protection in the court.
However, members of public have also accused the police of laxity and colluding with criminals making the city insecure. They further called for immediate transfer adding that the Officer Commanding of Kondele Police Station and that of Kisumu Central to be investigated over criminal activities.
While responding to the matter the commissioner appealed to the rowdy youth to be calm as police try to find an amicable solution.He further warned the youth to avoid violence especially now that the country is heading to general election.