Kenya: Nine-year old killed by stray police bullet in Mathare

A nine-year-old is one of the latest victims of tragic scenes that followed the announcement of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election on Friday.

Moraa Nyarangi, a class four pupil at Mathare Primary School in Nairobi, was killed by a bullet fired by anti-riot police during running battles with NASA supporters.

The girl was playing with her peers on the third floor balcony of their one-roomed house in Mathare Area 2 when she was hit on the chest. She died on the spot. Her father, Wycliffe Mokaya, said the victim was playing when the police began chasing protesters deep inside the informal settlements. 

“I have lost my only hope. My daughter who was at the balcony just fell down. We realised she had been hit on the chest. She died instantly,” Mr Mokaya, a groceries vendor, said.

“I don’t know why the police use live bullets. I have now lost my daughter. All I need is help to transport her body to Kisii for burial,” the distraught father said.

A neighbour who witnessed the incident said the police were shooting indiscriminately.

“I was at my balcony when the police arrived in three vehicles. They ordered people back to their houses, then started shooting,” said Nelson Gichana.

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The police were unable to collect the body for almost four hours after angry residents blocked them from accessing the house. The body was finally picked by Red Cross personnel at about 1.30pm.

By afternoon, police were still battling the protestors in Huruma and Mathare areas, 14 hours after the presidential results were declared. Power supply to the area had been disconnected. Angry protestors showed journalists spent cartridges.

A police officer told Sunday Standard they had been deployed at Mathare at 10pm on Friday, and by 1pm, they had not been served any meals. He said they were running short of teargas canisters.

“We have been here the whole night chasing these youths. No one has given us a bottle of water and we have exhausted the teargas canisters we had,” he said.

Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i denied reports of the police using excessive force to control the protests. “The Government will stop at nothing short of protecting lives of Kenyans and their property. Any person that may have criminal intent will face full force of the law,” Matiang’i said at a press briefing in Nairobi.


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