Three people were killed when chaos erupted between two groups fighting over a section of East African Portland Cement Company Limited land in Athi River, near Mtomawe in Machakos County.
An eyewitness Sammy Kyalo who escaped with arrow injuries said people suspected to belong to the outlawed Mungiki sect who had been ferried in buses attacked residents occupying a section of the 32,000 acre cement exhausted mines.
“At least 200 members of the Mungiki sect ferried from Nairobi and dropped near Athi River still plant while armed with guns, bows and arrows started demolishing our houses. I was injured by an arrow during the drama,” said Kyalo.
Another resident expressed fear the attackers were agents of some powerful persons out to grab the land he claimed and identified a businessman as behind the attack and called for protection from the government.
At least 40 houses were demolished by the assailants in the Friday dawn raid by attackers using mattocks to bring down houses while setting others on fire.
Confirming the incident, Athi River OCPD Shammar Wario said police were on high alert to ensure clam returns and said the bodies of the dead were taken to Nairobi City Mortuary.
About 50 suspects of the attack were arrested and taken to Machakos Police Station while scores of others injured are recuperating in various hospitals in Machakos and Athi River towns.
Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama condemned the incident and pledged to seek court intervention on the matter.
“ If the government has failed to provide security to our people in Mavoko, we will protect ourselves, ” Muthama declared.
Speaking separately in Kangundo, Machakos County Commissioner Mitilda Sakwa told off individuals intent on grabbing the land, saying it belonged to the government and has not been allocated to anyone.