Tensions at the Mwea settlement scheme
Seven people were on Friday seriously injured following skirmishes over the allotment of the 44,000 acre land in Mwea settlement scheme, Mbeere Sub County, Embu County.
At the time of going to press, tension was still high as area OCPD, Ahmed Mohammed confirmed police holding three suspected masterminds of the deadly confrontations who he said will be arraigned before court on Monday.
“We are also looking for two more prime suspects believed to have jointly played the role of incitement,” he said.
He further confirmed that one of the vehicles burnt during the skirmishes belong to the retired District Commissioner, Ireri Ndong’ong’i, who sustained multiple injuries during the melee and is currently admitted at the Embu Level five Hospital.
“I caution members of the public against taking the law into their hands since nothing will stop the Government from enforcing security and protecting beneficiaries,” he warned.
Local leaders, among them Embu Council of Elders Chairman (Nyangi Ndiriri), Andrew Ireri have condemned the skirmishes, describing them as a prelude to security breakdown in the scheme unless addressed urgently.
Ireri said in a statement that there is need for the Government to change tact in the manner it is handling the allotments.
“We need to listen to those aggrieved instead of wishing them away”, he cautioned.
He continued “We, as elders, would wish to take dispute resolution mechanism a step higher as opposed to chest thumbing”, adding that use of force, intimidation and threats to some of the people who have lived in this scheme for decades is by itself counter-productive, and presents a potential for serious repercussions in future.
By Nthigah Nyagah