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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

violence escalates as ODM MP is assassinated

Nairobi's Kibera estate erupted into chaos as reports of the murder of Embakasi MP, Melitus Mugabe Were reached residents. This came just hours after the Orange Democratic Movement's MP was shot dead at his Nairobi home in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. His supporters took to the streets, lit born fires and engaged police in running battles. Angry mourners assembled at the MP's Woodley home, but were at one point dispersed when anti-riot police launched tear gas canisters in the compound!

According to a witness, Were was alone in his car when he was shot dead by unknown people. He was waiting for the watchman to open the gate when two people pulled him from his car and shot him twice in the head. He was pronounced dead at the Nairobi hospital where his family had rushed him. Police have apparently launched investigations, but ODM leader, Raila Odinga, said it was clear the MP was assassinated by enemies of the party.

In Kibera, armed youths attacked people at Laini Saba where most residents remained indoors. Tension remained high. Ferdinard Nyamweya, a resident, said he was blocked by machete wielding youths as he went to work. "The angry youths, ostensibly looking for members of a particular community, blocked the way and told us to go back if we wanted peace. I had to abandon going to work to save my skin,'' said Nyamweya. Several people were injured as the area turned to a no-go zone.

Were is the first politician to die amid violence that has gripped the country since the disputed presidential poll. ODM spokesman, Salim Lone, called on people "to be peaceful and to only respond to violence by shunning violence".

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