There was chaos in Langata Primary School earlier today after police pounced on pupils and activists in the school compound who had been protesting the grabbing of the school’s playground.
Led by Langata MP Joash Olum, his Kibra counterpart Ken Okoth and acitivist Boniface Mwangi, the pupils, who were chanting the popular ‘haki yetu’/our right slogan, attempted to pull down a perimeter wall that had been built on the land before the police lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse them.
At least five pupils have reportedly been taken to the nearby Lang’ata hospital after they sustained injuries during the melee that affected traffic on the busy Langata road.
The disputed 2 acre piece of land, which the school has used as a playground since its inception, is being claimed by the popular Weston Hotel, which intends to be used as a parking bay.
A prominent politician in the Jubilee government has been associated with the hotel.
According to management consultant and former Raila Odinga aide, Edwin Olalo, the playground has been grabbed by the Weston Hotel through proxy. He claims that the land was first fraudulently and irregularly allocated to a former Nairobi Mayor, then transferred to a businessman of Asian origin before being finally transferred to the Weston Hotel in a matter of days to create the perception that the hotel has bought the land from the open market. Fencing of the plot was subsequently undertaken in a span of four days, with the construction works being undertaken both day and night under the supervision of hired armed thugs.
Kenyans have taken on social media under the hashtag #OccupyPlayGround to condemn the police for lobbying tear gas at the pupils. Below are some of the reactions;
Macharia Gaitho: The Jubilee government has land grabbing imprinted in its DNA
Boni Khalwale @BoniMtetezi 3h3 hours ago
How do you use tear gas cannisters on school kids? Am so disgusted! DP Ruto God is watching! #OccupyPlayGround. DP William Ruto I ask again! Who cast a spell on you with Land-Grabbing?
KinyanBoy Tweets n blogs will land you in jail, land grabbing will land you in police protection? Choose wisely #OccupyPlayGround
Boniface Mwangi :#KOT you want justice? Get online & review Weston Hotel on Trip Advisor, Hotels, and Bookings. Give it your best! #OccupyPlayGround”
K.Y.A.M.A™: Dare not talk to me about Democracy… Or your track record….. How do you explain this??? #OccupyPlayGround