A demonstration against alleged corruption in Gem National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) ended in disarray Tuesday, when goons stormed Masinde primary school and lobbed tear gas canisters at the villagers.
Several people, among them old men and women suffered injuries as tens of the demonstrators ran for dear lives, as the goons attacked them with crude weapons.
Trouble started when the villagers, led by the Communist Party of Kenya national chairman, Booker Ngesa Omole stormed the school, situated in Central Gem location, to protest reports that the area NG-CDF had spent more than Sh. 1.5 million on an administration block that had already been put up by the community.
The villagers had gathered at the school’s assembly block, in front of the building in question, for speeches when some well-built goons who had infiltrated them suddenly lobbed tear gas canisters that exploded as the demonstration leaders started their address.
The loud explosions and tear gas sent everybody scampering for safety, with some tripping in the confusion.
The villagers however regrouped later and confronted the goons, said to have been ferried from outside Gem, who ran to their vehicles that was parked at a safe distance and drove off from the venue.
Earlier, a team of journalists that had arrived at the school was ordered out of the compound by the head teacher who warned that the media personnel will have themselves to blame should they not heed her orders to vacate.
“Do not blame me for what will befall you,” said the head teacher whose name was only given as Seline.
Addressing the occasion, the demonstrators called for accountability of how the Sh1.5 million was spent, arguing that there was no way a building that was 90% complete prior to the NG-CDF pumping in money would have gobbled up the amount.
Booker Omole said that they will not allow corruption to take root in Gem and will push for investigations by the relevant government institutions.
“We shall take up the matter with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, whom we will work with to unearth several corrupt deals in the constituency,” he said, adding that a major demonstration will be held next Monday against leaders suspected to be part of the syndicate.
Omole, who condemned the violence meted on the villagers, called for investigations of how the goons had access to tear gas canisters that were the preserve of law enforcement agents.
By Philip Onyango