Police in Nairobi are holding 24 suspects linked to a violent confrontation between supporters of Embakasi West MP George Theuri and Jubilee candidate Mark Mureithi Mwenje in Umoja, Nairobi.
A police report seen by K24 Digital indicates three people were injured during the Monday night incident. Five vehicles and a motorcycle were also damaged.
The police said the supporters from rival camps clashed at Umoja One near the ACK Church at around 8.30pm.
“Part of the crowd managed to access Umoja H estate which heads to MP Theuri’s residence where they damaged five motor vehicles and one motorcycle,” police said.
Police have identified the injured persons as Rashid Ouko who was treated and discharged while Abdurahman Yusuf and Otieno Mike Nyagaya were admitted at Equity Afya hospital and Metropolitan hospitals respectively.
“An operation to disperse the rioters was conducted where 24 suspects were arrested and are expected to be charged in court,” police said.
Theuri is seeking a third term in office under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
Political clashes on the rise
The country has witnessed an increase in cases where rival political supporters clash, leading to vandalism, destruction and injuries.
Last week, unknown people destroyed campaign materials for DAP-K governor candidate John Pesa in Migori. Around the same time, a supporter of ODM candidate Ochillo Ayacko was attacked by suspected supporters of John Pesa over the placement of a banner at his premises.
The clashes have even led to the loss of lives. In one of the cases on May 29 this year, one person died on the spot after supporters of Rongo parliamentary aspirants clashed in Rongo, Migori county.
According to the local police, the deceased was one of the aspirants slated for vetting and clearance by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) the following day.
The Ministry of Interior has warned that political hooliganism and intimidation of voters are some of the unprecedented threats the government is dealing with during this electioneering period.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said money laundering, terrorism, organised criminal gangs, land and boundary disputes, and ethnopolitical mobilization are some of the challenges facing the country.
The Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai recently said police were aware that there were certain opportunists and other criminals who intend to take advantage of the electioneering period to commit various crimes but warned that the police were better prepared.
Since 2017, the service has recruited 20,300 police officers and 2,500 police reservists, making the per capita ratio of police to citizens well beyond the United Nation standards.