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Locals up in arms after police pour traditional beer

Friday December 20 2019

Kapsabet-Kaimosi road

Protesters blocked the Kapsabet-Kaimosi road for the better part of Friday. PHOTO | TOM MATOKE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

TOM MATOKE
By TOM MATOKE
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Dozens of young men in Kapsabet were on Friday up in arms after police poured a traditional brew that was to be consumed during a celebration event for recently circumcised boys in the area

The youths took to the streets to protest at the move by police. They blocked the Kapsabet-Kaimosi road for hours, leaving hundreds of travellers heading to Western and Nyanza regions for the Christmas festivities stranded.

On Friday morning, police officers raided the venue of the event, poured the brew and arrested some people.

The protesters sang traditional Nandi songs attracting the attention of crowds. They said the officers had committed an abomination against the Nandi.

They vowed to block the busy road until the head of the police in the county explains to them why officers ''attacked their culture''. They also demanded the immediate release of those arrested.

They said that a brew meant for consumption by guests during an event to celebrate recently circumcised boys should not be subjected to security operations.

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“How can we celebrate our culture when the police are attacking the same?

“The Jubilee government has said we should celebrate our culture on Boxing Day but they are attacking our people and arresting our youth,” said John Sitienei, who led the demonstrations.

They said the brew is an important aspect of celebrations to mark circumcision of boys in the Nandi culture.

Nandi police boss Samson Ole Kine termed the incident unfortunate and said investigations into the matter had been opened.

He said local leaders and protesters had agreed to call off the protests so that travellers do not suffer.

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