Five people are nursing gunshot wounds after they were injured during confrontations with the police in Mwea settlement scheme.
The police were deployed to guard the 44,000-acre settlement scheme in Embu County. The five were part of a group that tried to block those who had been allocated pieces of land from accessing their parcels.
Mr Abednego Mutua, 41, was shot in the stomach. Others are Mr Pius Musau, 40, (chest), Mr Dennis Muriithi, 20, (hand and stomach) and Mr Kennedy Muvevi Mutua, 21, who was also shot in the stomach. Mr Boniface Nzioka Manyuoli, 19, had a bullet lodged in his thigh.
Most of the injured were rushed to White Rose Medical Centre and Gategi Satellite hospital.
On Wednesday, hundreds of youths started pelting police with stones at Mashamba, prompting the shootout.
The previous day, word had gone round that some of the over 7,000 people, who received title deeds, would be shown their parcels of land in Gikuru, Mashamba and Muthiru areas.
The exercise which was being coordinated by security agencies, had been stopped after a former District Commissioner, Mr Ireri Ndong’ong’i, and other elders, were attacked as they toured the area Friday.
Mr Ndong’ong’i’s car was also set on fire at Mwonjo village, two kilometres from Makima market, Mbeere South sub-county.
Hundreds of beneficiaries, who had camped at Mashamba shopping, could not be shown their parcels of land due to the confrontations. Tension was high in the area on Wednesday evening as over 200 police officers patrolled the area.
However, Embu Lands Executive Josphat Kithumbu said 4,043 of the 7,232 title deeds had been issued to Makima and Mwea ward residents.
The squatters engaged the police in running battles as the officers tried to escort beneficiaries to their parcels of land. Mbeere South Deputy County Commissioner Beverly Oporwa and OCPD Ahmed Mohammed led the operation.
Those opposed to the exercise vowed not to allow anybody into the Mwea scheme until the matter of land allocation is addressed. Members of public condemned use of excessive force by security agencies.