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Tension high in Kiambu-Machakos border after charcoal lorry is burnt.

The scene at the Kiambu-Machakos border on Thursday afternoon after angry transporters barricaded the Thika-Garissa Highway in protest of a lorry that was torched in the Ukambani side.

There was high tension in Ngoliba area in the border of Kiambu and Machakos Counties after transporters believed to be from the former barricaded the busy Thika-Garissa Highway following a protest against the decision by some Kitui County officials to torch a lorry nabbed carrying charcoal.

The transporters lit bonfires on the road, completely block paralysing transport services for more than four hours before police arrived and restored order.

Vehicles were forced to use alternative routes to avoid any ugly confrontations with the irate protestors and at one time it almost resulted to a fistfight between police and the angry businesspeople.

“We have no problem with Kambas because they are good Kenyans but we have an issue with Kitui Governor (Charity Ngilu) who is inciting her people against Kikuyus,” shouted Eunice Wanjiru.

“How could Ngilu burn a lorry that was coming from Tana River County that was using a national government road? We are tired of petty politics. If the governor wants to advance majimboism with her petty politics, we will be forced to disallow her people from doing business within our soils too,” she added.

The driver to the ill-fated lorry David Kariuki Waweru said he was coming from Athi River when he was confronted by Ngilu. Before he could explain himself, his lorry was set ablaze triggering the confrontation that pitted the Kamba and Kikuyu communities.

The lorry was reportedly impounded alongside another and a pick-up truck on Wednesday evening but was left behind after developing mechanical problems as the others were escorted to Kitui police station.
The remnants of the truck believed to have been torched following Ngilu's orders. 

“I pay over Sh. 270,000 every month to my bank to cover 2.5 million loan. I wonder where we are headed to if those entrusted in power are the same ones advocating for primitive methods to solve issues. I am appealing to (President) Uhuru to intervene and provide a solution to the escalating row between Governor Ngilu and charcoal traders,” said Waweru.

The Kitui governor was on Wednesday quoted to have instructed her people at a rally in Kamutei area of Kitui south Constituency to kill anyone found transporting charcoal and burnt any lorry spotted ferrying charcoal.

“If you stop any lorry carrying charcoal, offload the charcoal then burnt the lorry. I have given you a go ahead as the Kitui governor. They want to kill us. Let us kill them before they do,” Ngilu said.

The incident has elicited some tension in Ngoliba area which predominantly is inhabited by the two communities.

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