The commissioning of a water project in Nyeri County ended in disarray after two rival political factions clashed during the peak of the ceremony.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri found himself in the thick of the fracas as supporters of the two political camps engaged in booing and heckling some speakers in a showdown that at times turned physical.
Police had a hard time restraining the unruly crowd that was at some point snatched microphone from speakers who were roughed up and evicted from the venue of the event.
Nyeri Woman Rep Rahab Mukami who had accompanied the CS Kiunjuri had a rough time and was forced to cut short her speech when part of the crowd that escorted Nyeri town Member of Parliament Ngunjiri Wambugu stormed the venue.
The angry crowd told off Mukami for appearing to be aligned to the infamous team “Tanga Tanga” and not the team “kieleweke” that is presumed to back the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
“Tutigugwitikiria warie guku uthukie wira mwega wa mugathe President Uhuru wa Kenyatta,” (We are not going to allow you to address us to undermine President Uhuru Kenyatta’s development agenda), a woman shouted.
As the ugly scenario unfolded, Mukami remained composed but visibly fearful with police and her guards securing her position.
Reliable sources told the press that a section of the crowd was furious that the local MP Ngunjiri Wambugu was not involved in the planning of the meeting to commission Riamukurwe Irrigation water project.
Trouble started when Wambugu entered the venue at Gatitu village, Mururuguru ward in his Nyeri Town constituency accompanied by supporters and a fleet of motorbikes with horns blaring.
As Kiunjuri was preparing to line up the speakers, Wambugu supporters started booing prompting the CS to call the crowd to order but more chaos erupted.
Speaking after calm was restored, CS Kiunjuri said it was not time for politics but for development.
“Kama ni siasa ya Kieleweke na Tanga Tanga hiyo iwekwe kando sasa ni wakati wa maendeleo” If it is politics of Team Kieleweke or Tanga Tanga, let’s put that aside. It is time for development,” Kiunjuri said.
He said the government was committed to ensuring that all corners of the country were developed.
Kiunjuri said Riamukurwe Irrigation water project that had taken 10 years under construction would cost the government Sh256 million.
By Beth Ndirangu