Guns seem to be going off everywhere this week.
In Makueni County,five people were shot and seriously injured in a gunfight at the Makueni County Assembly.
It’s a miracle no one was killed after bodyguards opened fire during a confrontation pitting elected leaders and their supporters and a marauding mob led by Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana.
The elected leaders had gathered at the grounds of the County Assembly, apparently for prayers, before proceeding to a public rally at which the governor was to be criticised
allegedly for condoning graft.
Prof Kibwana and the group he led stormed the venue and the confrontation and gunfire ensued.
His bodyguard William Kinoti and county chief of staff Douglas Mbilo sustained gunshot wounds.
Also injured was the Sergeant-At-Arms, Mr Brian Mutua, an Administration Police officer and a Kibwezi resident only identified as Musyoki.
The governor blamed police for the violence and accused them of supporting impunity by denying locals entry to a public utility.
During the incident, the marauding mob uprooted the County Assembly’s signboard and set vegetation nearby on fire as traders hurriedly closed their shops.
“You as police officers are supporting impunity and corruption as this is a public utility and they had all the rights to be here,” said Prof Kibwana.
A bullet grazed Mr Mbilo’s head while Mr Mutua was shot in the stomach and Mr Kinoti in the thigh.
Mr Musyoki was hit on the leg.
The violence occurred two days after the county’s MCAs and their Majority Leader, Mr Francis Musso met Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba and his Mbooni counterpart, Mr Kisoi Munyao in Mombasa.
After the meeting, some of the leaders accused Prof Kibwana who led the marauding mobs of condoning corruption, with Mr Musimba calling for Prof Kibwana’s resignation.
The governor’s responded by saying that his critics had not communicated any grievances to him and were unhappy because he was protecting public money from being misused.
Those who were injured were treated at the Makueni Referral Hospital.
Makueni OCPD Philip Opiyo said several gunshots were fired after the mob broke into the assembly’s compound.
According to him, the shots were fired by the legislators’ bodyguards.
“All the legislators had armed bodyguards and therefore we cannot establish whose gun injured whom. We are investigating and those found guilty will face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
The incident came a day after Ndia MP Stephen Ngare’s bodyguard shot dead a man who had attempted to attack the lawmaker with a panga.
The prayers were held ahead of a public rally that was to be held at Unoa Grounds in Wote and which was later cancelled.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior, who was in the compound with the group that had met for prayers, blamed the violence on wrangles within the county government.
He said Prof Kibwana was being accused of failing to implement the 2013/2014 county budget and lack of accountability.
He urged MCAs to produce evidence on corruption in the county and said the Senate would fully support them.
He also proposed that a team be set up to reconcile the leaders.
Mr Musso blamed Prof Kibwana for the incident.
He said the governor was against accountability and transparency.
He also claimed that his group had prior knowledge of plans to disrupt the meeting.
According to him, questions about Sh10 million meant for the disabled, Sh40 million for boda boda operators and Sh40 million for emergency for which the County Assembly was
demanding answers could not be resolved by using hooligans.
But Governor Kibwana said the Assembly was fighting him because they wanted him to approve a budget allocation of Sh913 million for the House while there was a law which put
the ceiling at Sh356 million.
“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®