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Chaos as Embu MCAs attempt to kick out ‘corrupt’ officials

Thursday November 7 2019

Demonstrators protest in Embu town

Demonstrators protest in Embu town on November 7, 2019 demanding the sacking of county officials accused of corruption. Earlier, the Embu County Assembly passed a motion stopping the collection of levies from traders until the said officials are sacked. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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Chaos has erupted in Embu County headquarters as MCAs and residents took to the streets and attempted to flush out officials accused of corruption.

Tension mounted Thursday as riot police engaged the demonstrators in running battles for the better part of the mourning.

This came shortly after the MCAs passed a motion barring the county government from collecting revenue from the business people.

MOTION

Deputy Minority Leader Newton Kariuki moved the motion and asked his colleagues to support it.

The Muminji MCA argued that Governor Martin Wambora's administration had totally failed to sack officers accused of corruption.

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Mr Kariuki insisted that services by the county government should be grounded until the governor implements the resolution of the assembly seeking to have the officers dismissed.

The MCAs concurred with Mr Kariuki and voted in favour of the motion.

INJURED

During the ensuing protests, scores of the demonstrators were injured when they were clobbered and fell on rocks during the skirmishes.

Some of the MCAS were also manhandled by the riot police but vowed that no amount of intimidation would deter them from calling for the removal of dishonest officials working in the county government.

Business in Embu town came to a standstill as traders hurriedly closed their shops and took off for fear of looting.

Trouble started when the ward representatives converged at the assembly and held prayers before they poured into the streets in protest.

WAMBORA

They were later joined by the residents who were carrying placards and chanting slogans castigating Governor Wambora's administration.

The demonstrators marched on the streets, paralysing transport and normal business in the entire town.

They then stormed the county headquarters and attempted to flush out senior officials whom they alleged are corrupt.

As they attempted to force their way into the offices to eject out the officials, the riot police intervened and a fierce confrontation ensued.

The officers fought the demonstrators for hours before dispersing them.

Moments later, the demonstrators regrouped at the town centre and moved from one area to another asking traders to boycott paying revenue to the county government.

PARALYSE OPERATIONS

They swore to paralyse all county government operations until their demands are met.

The demonstrators said they would visit all towns in the region asking traders to stop paying levies.

"We are going piling pressure on Governor Wambora until he bows to our demands. Our hospitals have no enough drugs while various development projects have halted because some officials are busy looting taxpayers’ money. This is unacceptable," said Ruguru Ngandori MCA Muturi Mwombo.

The MCAS accused the executive of undermining the county assembly by refusing to implement its resolutions.

OFFICIALS REJECTED

"We have rejected some of the officials because of their misconduct but Mr Wambora has refused to sack them. The governor is disrespecting the legislature and we are going to continue waging war against him," another MCA said.

The MCAs accused the police of using excessive force to disperse them and the residents and called for government's intervention.

They called for a major reshuffle of the officers who had been drawn from various police stations in the region to tame the demonstrators.

"We have been mistreated while some residents have been wounded. The officers involved should be disciplined," added Mr Mwombo.

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