Four people were confirmed dead during a women organised protest in Masimba, Kajiado county in Kenya. Reports had its that the locals were protesting against the increase in loss of lives due to wild life threats, following the killing of a teacher by an elephant.
The group while demonstrating, blocked the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Personnel from the General Service Unit (GSU) were deployed to keep the situation under control, but this escalated the situation as members of the public infiltrated the group and began flinging stones in the direction of the GSU officers.
The officers, sensing eminent danger, the police immediately opened fire to disperse the angry crowd, which unfortunately, left to people scampering in different directions. Four protesters got hit, dying on the spot, while the fourth person was reported to have succumbed to death afterwards on the way to the hospital.
Over seven other protesters sustained bullet injuries during the incident. Residents recounted that prior to the arrival of the GSU, the demonstration was going on peacefully with no conflicts. The local police moved about town, but did not interfere in their protest.
“There was no problem at all. We saw the local police officers patrolling the town as the women demonstrated against KWS inaction after a primary school teacher was killed by an elephant last week,” Jacob Siamantet, a resident said.
He went on to explain that the GSU had alighted from the van and started removing the stones used to block the road, and shortly after, began firing at protesters.
“As soon as they left and everyone had taken cover, we counted 3 three bodies and eight injured people. We helped the injured to a waiting van. On our way to Makindu, one other person died,” he recounted.