MP, nine journalists arrested during eviction exercise in Embu

MP, nine journalists arrested during eviction exercise in Embu
A screengrab of police officers during an eviction exercise in Mbeere South, Embu County, on April 25, 2021.

Police on Saturday arrested nine journalists and a Member of Parliament as they conducted evictions in Makumi, Mbeere South, Embu County.

The officers were evicting families from contested land, an exercise which had drawn the attention of local leaders and journalists.

The journalists as listed by the Media Council of Kenya are Solomon Mwaniki (Standard Media Group), Dennis Fundi (Meru TV), William Moige (Standard Media Group), Josephat Mukundi, Peter Mungai (Citizen TV), Brian Malila (County FM), Mary Wangari (Coro FM), Felix Ndambuki (Athiani FM), Dan Makenge (U- TV) as well as Mbeere South MP Geoffrey King’ang’i.

They were detained at the Matuu Police Station.

In the exercise, more than 5,000 families in Makima area of Embu County had been left homeless on Friday after the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA) began evicting residents who have called the place home for years.

The Friday exercise saw the demolition of the Ndunguni market with traders who had not removed their wares suffering extensive losses.

The exercise which has caused uproar among residents was under the supervision of police officers.

Residents in other places such as Mbondoni and Twanyuni are living in fear with their future clouded in uncertainty.

Area leaders led by nominated Member of Parliament Cecily Mbarire condemned the demolitions accusing TARDA of violating the rights of the residents. They claim no notice was given to residents.

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