One shot dead, eight injured as Narok demos turn chaotic.

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At least one person was shot dead while eight others including two police officers were seriously

Narok Senator Stephen ole Ntutu (centre) leads resident in a demonstration to the county offices to hand over a petition seeking the ouster of Governor Samuel ole Tunai. At last one person was shot dead and several, including police officers, injured when the protests turned chaotic. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP.


At least one person was shot dead while eight protestors including two police officers were seriously injured Monday when thousands of Narok residents defied a government ban on demonstrations.

The protestors were demonstrating against Governor Samuel ole Tunai whom they accused of mismanaging the county government.

The dead protestor was allegedly shot dead by police who were overwhelmed by the mob who tried to force their way into the Narok County government offices.

The protestor was pronounced dead upon arrival at Narok County Referral Hospital, a kilometre away from where he was shot.

Senator Stephen ole Ntutu, MPs Moitalel Kenta (Narok North), Korei Lemein (Narok South), Patrick Ntutu (Narok West) and Johanna Ngeno (Emmurua Dikkirr) led the protesters who sought to present the governor with a petition detailing their grievances.

OCPD AMONG INJURED

The Narok North OCPD Paul Letting and a General Service Unit (GSU) officer were among the injured.

Mr Letting sustained serious head injuries and was rushed to an unknown hospital outside for treatment.

Medics who attended to the injured and who declined to be named said two patients sustained serious gunshot wounds with broken limbs while six others sustained soft tissue injuries.

“One of the two with serious bullet wounds is in the theatre in a critical condition,” said the hospital source.

About 500 police officers backed by a helicopter aerial surveillance from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) were detailed to restrain protestors numbering about 10,000 from accessing the county government offices.

The protestors, led by their leaders marched for about seven kilometres to the governor’s office where they sought in vain to present a memorandum of their grievances. The governor was not in the office at the time the protesters arrived.

They staged a sit in for about one hour but were later repulsed by anti-riot police using tear gas canisters and live bullets but they later regrouped.

They started pelting police with stones and other crude weapons.

APPELED FOR PEACE

Before marching to the county offices, their leaders had beseeched the mob to be peaceful, saying they should not destroy any property since it belonged to the residents.

The incident is the culmination of a three-month tussle between the governor and a section of leaders who want him out of office over claims of mismanaging the county.

Leaders opposed to Mr Tunai first held the first rally in October 2014 in the outskirts of Narok Town demanding him to quit.

They alleged he could not account for billions of shillings from tourism activities in Masai Mara Game Reserve, devolved funds from the national government, markets and other sources.

They also accused him of favouring outsiders in job allocations at the expense of the Maasai community.

Last month, they held another rally at Ololulung’a trading centre pressing him to leave office for not being accountable to the electorate.

Earlier, they met President Uhuru Kenyatta who had invited them to State House, Nairobi to try and calm the tension that was building up ahead of another meeting which was later called off.

Security guards at the referral hospital had a hard time trying to control relatives and friends of the dead protestors and those who were injured in the protests.

Traders in the town closed their businesses for fear of looting while pupils, students and teachers kept away from schools for safety.

After the fracas subsided, the leaders presented their memorandum to the county secretary Lenku Seki, and issued a 21-day ultimatum to the governor to address their grievances.

Senator Ntutu, who later called off the day-long demonstrations, condemned the police for using live ammunition on peaceful protestors whom he said were demanding for accountability from the county leadership.

“We have decided to call off the protest after handing over our petition containing our grievances to the county secretary.

“We expect the governor to respond to the issues we have raised within 21 days failure to which we will petition the president to dissolve the county government,” he said.

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