Stampede Occurs Ahead of Madaraka Day Celebrations in Meru

Several people were injured on Friday morning at Kinoru Stadium in Meru following a stampede ahead of the Madaraka Day celebrations.

Reports indicate that thousands had trooped the venue as early as 6 am and all terraces reserved for the public were full.

Police were forced to bar a section of the crowd from entering the stadium but a melee ensued as they forced their way in.

[caption caption="Security Officers manning terraces at Kinoru Stadium"][/caption]

Some were trampled upon in the chaos but order was restored soon after.

Many residents walked to the stadium as motor vehicles were barred from accessing the venue and Meru town.

Eastern Regional Commissioner Wycliffe Ogallo stated that only vehicles with special passes would access the stadium and the town to avoid snarl-ups.

“Those who will not have the passes will be required to leave their vehicles at designated parking places outside the town and walk to the venue,” he directed.

Madaraka Day is a national holiday on which Kenya commemorates attainment of internal self-rule from Britain in 1963.

Madaraka is a Swahili word for "responsibility, power, governance".

Last year’s Madaraka Day was held in Nyeri.

[caption caption="A security check outside the stadium"][/caption]