Independent reporting on human rights, environmental and conflict issues

The Situation is Getting Worse

A man brandishing a Machete in Mathari North speaks in front of a crowd. © Anne Holmes

Mathare North was an absolute nightmare today and it doesn’t look as though things will settle down anytime soon. ODM has called for a fresh round of mass action protests next week and killings have continued to occur at night and during the day on both sides. We are seeing an increased polarization of all the other tribes versus Kikuyu, and tension is mounting on all sides in all sectors. There is reason for concern that things will spiral out of control and that tribal animosity may spread to the middle classes and spill over into the streets of downtown Nairobi if leaders don’t do something fast to try to remedy the situation.

It is difficult to get a full body count for Mathare as many parts are so dangerous that journalists and aid workers are unable to go in. The last tally I received was 3 dead, and 12 seriously wounded for today, but killings are sure to continue through the night and into tomorrow. I was unable to ascertain the specific nature of all the reported wounded.

I arrived in Mathare North early in the evening at a horrific scene. A man accused of being a spy by a mixture of tribes (other than Kikuyu) laid in a pool of his own blood, still breathing, as bystanders continued to beat him. His skull was bashed in and he stopped breathing just as we were leaving the scene. Two men lay dead in the street having suffered a similar fate not far away in another section of Mathare but we were unable to get to them due to the security situation.

There have been increasing reports that the Mungiki, a highly organized Kikuyu gang, have been active in Mathari and that they are being helped by the General Service Units (GSU) or Red Berets. It is alleged that they are being armed and given GSU uniforms by the latter and that they often come in after police raids to slash people. Members of tribes other than Kikuyu in Mathare say they have killed Mungiki members and suspected informants such as the man pictured below in order to protect their own people.

l1022407.jpg © Anne Holmes

l1022415.jpg © Anne Holmes

l1022422.jpg © Anne Holmes

l1022423.jpg © Anne Holmes

I spent the afternoon hanging about a makeshift displaced people’s camp on the main road to Mathare. There is virtually no security for those staying there, mostly Kikuyu who fled Mathare, and reports of attacks at night abound, though apparently no one has been injured as yet. Living conditions are abhorrent. Below are a few pictures from the camp.

Two young Kikuyu boys in the refugee camp just outside Mathare. © Anne Holmes

Children peer through a car window in the refugee camp outside Mathare. © Anne Holmes


5 Responses to “The Situation is Getting Worse”

  1. zachariah says:

    coz this big people there dont have love what their want is power,blood and to go to hell………….

  2. zachariah says:

    let us unite,and know that love is the answer.
    And if love is the answer my question is why can we leave in peace,love and Harmony.

  3. […] spot in East Africa, if not the whole continent — is still in chaos. See some of the haunting reports and photographs of The Vigilante Journalist if you doubt […]

  4. Phillip Saliboko says:

    I do not think that Kenyans deserve this! These people are too innocent for this…
    Can someone put sense on Kibaki and Raila to end this blood shed? Thank you.

    Phillip – Dar – Tanzania

  5. Vigilante, it’s wonderful you are doing this. It must get very difficult seeing this tragedy on a daily basis. Keep up the work. There were no journalists at Auschwitz. Thank you.

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