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24 protesters admitted with gunshot wounds in Kitengela

34-year-old Samuel Waruiru(Left) and 42-year-old Peter Ndungu (R) gunshot victims at the Kitengela sub county hospital where they are admitted awaiting the removal of bullets. PHOTO /Christine Musa

24 protesters are currently admitted at Kitengela Sub County Hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds during the chaotic demonstration witnessed in Kitengela town on July 2, 2024.

Three other patients, who had bullets lodged in their skulls, were referred to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and Machakos Level Five Hospital respectively.

Gunshot wounds

According to Lemuta Saila, the clinical officer in charge of the hospital, 14 other patients sustained soft tissue injuries with all the gunshot wound victims reported as male adults.

Lemuta says the first gunshot wound patient was brought to the facility at around 4:oo pm on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, with others received up to 10:00 pm.

“The gunshot wounds patients are being attended to as a matter of emergency. Most of the patients have been shot in their lower and upper limbs. The bullets include both live and rubber bullets that require surgical procedure to be removed,” Lemuta said.

According to Lemuta, the availability of just one surgeon at the facility has slowed the process. One of the patients has two bullets lodged in his chest and head respectively.

28-year-old Charles Kuria who was shot in his left leg says life among youths is too tough and that is what is pushing them to the streets. PHOTO/Christine Musa

Some of the patients have confessed to having been participating in the anti-Ruto protests while some claim to have been victims of circumstances.

28-year-old Charles Kuria who was shot in his left leg says life among youths is too tough and that is what is pushing them to the streets.

“I was actively participating in the protests. I was peacefully shouting about the poor state of our country’s leadership. When police began shooting to disperse us, I continued protesting and that is when I was shot. Sincerely, I did not expect to face the wrath of the police because I was not armed and I was not using abusive language.

“The economy is bad, and we as youth are learned and jobless, we would wish to get attention through proper considerate leadership. I also urge Kenyans to participate in peaceful protests and refrain from any unlawful activities,” Kuria said.

The youthful victims say the demonstrations were peaceful but unknown persons brought chaos that triggered police to use excess force.

“I was calmly watching the events of the day unfold while at my lorry which was parked along the road since transport along the high was paralyzed. I was shot on the left side of the neck and I am now waiting for surgery. It is unfortunate that despite the discomfort and pain I have to wait at this public hospital to get services since I cannot afford to access services at a private health facility due to financial constraints,” narrated 42-year-old Peter Ndung’u

42 year old Peter Ndungu admitted at the Kitengela Subcounty hospital with a bullet lodged on his neck. PHOTO /Christine Musa
42-year-old Peter Ndungu was admitted to the Kitengela Sub-county hospital with a bullet lodged in his neck. PHOTO /Christine Musa

They further want President William Ruto to heed the cry of Kenyans to stabilize the country’s economy and make life much more bearable. Asked, some say they would gladly participate in peaceful protests again in an effort to ensure justice and better leadership in the country.

34-year-old Samuel Wairuiru who was shot in the chest and forehead says he was shot at a close range says he was an onlooker of the dramatic scenes involving the police and protesters.

“The battle between protesters and police had prolonged from noon to late in the evening. I was just finding my way home before I encountered officers and one of them fired at me at a close range,” added Wairuiru a resident of Kitengela.

Samuel Waruiru a gunshot victim of the Tuesday Kitengela antigovernment protests awaiting removal of two bullets lodged on his body. PHOTO/Christine Musa
Samuel Waruiru a gunshot victim of the Tuesday Kitengela antigovernment protests awaiting the removal of two bullets lodged in his body. PHOTO/Christine Musa

The Kitengela protests which had a mammoth of participants turned chaotic yesterday as unrelenting protesters fiercely engaged police in cat-and-mouse running battles. The police officers lobbed teargas and fired on protesters who were pelting stones.

The protesters had barricaded the Nairobi Namanga road paralyzing transport and businesses totally shut down.

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