Police battle youths after anti-Gema meeting flops

Wednesday April 18 2012

Police move to block Limuru meeting
Youths cheer as they storm the main entrance to Jumia conference centre Limuru on April 18,2012. Anti-riot police blocked the venue after police banned the meeting that was to counter recent gatherings by Gema in the same venue. Photo/WILLIAM OERI
Youths cheer as they storm the main entrance to Jumia conference centre Limuru on April 18,2012. Anti-riot police blocked the venue after police banned the meeting that was to counter recent gatherings by Gema in the same venue. Photo/WILLIAM OERI
By ZADOCK ANGIRA [email protected] and ANNE MACHARIA [email protected]

An anti-Gema and Kamatusa meeting planned for Limuru turned chaotic after police blocked more than 2,000 youths who had turned up for the rally.

The officers lobbed teargas canisters and on several occasions used live ammunition to disperse the youths and organisers of the event dubbed Limuru 2B.

The meeting at Jumuia Conference Centre was organised to counter another held there by Gema leaders two weeks ago.

Five people were arrested but the police could not confirm whether they would be charged in court on Thursday.

The operation was led by the Central police boss John Mbijjiwe and CID chief Henry Ondiek and lasted for about five hours before the youths informed the police that they had decided to leave the area peacefully.

Igembe North MP Mithika Linturi and former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga, who organised the meeting, did not come to the venue.

The youths swarmed the town and its environs and engaged the police in running battles.

Lawyer Paul Muite later convened a press conference at the Wida Highway Motel on the Nairobi/Nakuru highway, where he condemned the cancellation of the talks and the police action.

He said they would sue the area police boss for disrupting the meeting.

“If the meeting does not go through, a petition will be filed against the PPO,” he warned.

Mr Ngunjiri Wambugu,