Five children injured as armed police use teargas to stop playground protest in Kenya

Eyewitnesses say police used sticks and dogs to chase away the 1,000 people that came to

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Five pupils at a Kenyan school were injured after armed police used teargas during a protest over the sale of their playground to a private developer.

The protest which took place on Monday in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, saw children as young as seven and their parents pull down a wall that had been built around the land at Langa'ta School around 5km away from the city centre.

The wall had been erected around the land during the school holidays by private developers, Airport View Housing Ltd, who claims that it lawfully bought the land from the school.

After the group of over 1000 teachers, students and parents brought down the wall, armed riot police reacted by throwing canisters of teargas into the crowds.

  According to eyewitnesses, the armoured police used sticks and dogs to chase the group away from the area.

Reports say that five children were injured as protesters tried to flee the area.

One policeman received a head injury after being hit with a stone.

The group were protesting after part of the school’s playground was recently sold to a private company against the wishes of those at the school.

Officials at school and members of the Nairobi City Council said that the playground was public land and that it was corruption that was behind the sale of the land to the developer, Airport View Housing Ltd.

According to local reports, the pulling down of the wall followed a notice by local MP Kenneth Okoth, who threatened to mobilise youths from the constituency if the wall was not brought down.

According to local media, Airport View Housing Ltd says it has legally acquired the land and plans to build a car park that will be used by guests at an adjoining hotel.