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October 22, 2018

Jaguar injured as police clash with hawkers at Marikiti

Chaos on Nairobi's Haile Selassie Avenue during a demonstration by Wakulima Market traders against high rates charged by the county, July 12, 2018. /COURTESY
Chaos on Nairobi's Haile Selassie Avenue during a demonstration by Wakulima Market traders against high rates charged by the county, July 12, 2018. /COURTESY

Starehe MP Charles Njagua dislocated his ankle during a stampede at Marikiti/Wakulima market where protests took place on Wednesday evening.

Njagua, known better as musician Jaguar, was treated at Karen Hospital and discharged.

Jaguar told the Star by phone on Thursday that trouble started as county officials moved in on hawkers who had sought refuge at the market.

A standoff ensued after they arrested a trader at the market after mistaking him for a hawker.

“The county operators had been looking for hawkers who went to hide in the market. Their arrest of the innocent man led to a deadly confrontation,” Jaguar said. He added that the officers clobbered the person, escalating the row and causing running battles.

The officers got overwhelmed so they called regular police and the General Service Unit for reinforcement. 

“I came to the rescue of the traders and tried to talk to the officers but little did I know that they had called for reinforcement. They threw tear gas canisters, forcing the people to scamper for safety," the MP said. “It was during the commotion that there was a stampede."

Jaguar said the protest was also motivated by the arrest of five of the market's officials. The chairman was apprehended yesterday after going to check on his colleagues who had been arrested.

Jaquar said efforts to settle the matter out of court were futile as the county askaris were unwilling to listen, saying their colleagues had been injured.

“We are not fighting the county government ... city askaris should act in a humane manner and stop using excessive force," he said.

Related: Wakulima Market traders light bonfires in demo against high rates

Also read: City Hall races against time to complete 15 modern markets

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