A Daily Nation photo-journalist was badly beaten up by police officers on Monday, January 13 in Mombasa County.
Laban Walloga was clobbered by the officers as he attempted to cover protests triggered by controversial Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) regulations that activists argue have negatively impacted the Coastal city's economy.
Walloga was forced to clutch dearly to his camera as he ran away from the group of officers. Fauz Khalid, a Mombasa businessman and senior member of the Fast Action lobby group, spoke to Kenyans.co.ke on Monday, January 13 revealing details of the protest which he attended.
"The protest started at around 10 a.m. and it was dispersed around an hour later," he disclosed.
Khalid stated that the police who fired teargas at the protestors, were armed with clubs and started attacking protesters indiscriminately.
"They were beating people up with long sticks, some of them were not even in uniform," he recalled.
The teargas sent demonstrators scampering for safety as activists leading the protest were arrested.
"They arrested four people. Hussein Khalid, the executive director of HAKI Africa and his chief mobilizer were among them," he noted.
The arrested individuals were taken to Central Police Station in Mombasa and were yet to be released by the time of publication.
Khalid explained that the protests dubbed 'Okoa Mombasa' had lasted over fifteen weeks since the Transport Ministry issued the controversial directive rerouting port cargo from road to the SGR.
"(Transport CS) Macharia ordered that all goods arriving at the Port of Mombasa be transported via the Standard Gauge Railway.
"That is a very draconian policy and it has affected businesses at all levels here in Mombasa and even in Ukambani" he asserted.
Khalid vowed that the protests would continue until action was taken to secure the livelihoods of the city's residents.
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