Elderly woman injured in clashes at Machakos county hospital
An elderly woman broke her leg when she was knocked down during chaos at the Machakos Level Five Hospital Wednesday.
Supporters of Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala clashed with county inspectorate officers as they tried to prevent the askaris from towing away Mr Kiala’s private car from the hospital’s compound.
The violence brought business at the hospital to a standstill for close to two hours.
The rioters, who were pelting their pursuers with stones, gave up after they realised the askaris were unrelenting.
The askaris towed the car away. Its front left tire was punctured and one of its parking lights broken.
As they fled, the rioters knocked down the old woman at the hospital’s main gate. She was immediately taken into the hospital for treatment.
Security officers arrived later and dispersed onlookers, who had gathered outside the hospital, and restored order.
Relations between Mr Kiala and his boss, Governor Alfred Mutua, have been sour since the county assembly tried to impeach the Deputy Governor.
On Tuesday, their supporters clashed at the hospital after Mr Kiala addressed a crowd and journalists there.
Yesterday, the rioting supporters accused Dr Mutua of corruption.
SEIZED AND CLAMPED
The vehicle, a Toyota Prado, was seized and clamped at the hospital during the fight on Tuesday.
“This is my personal car, not a county government vehicle,” the Deputy Governor said. “I don’t understand why it should be impounded and towed away just because my supporters and those of the governor clashed within the hospital yesterday.”
He accused Dr Mutua of intimidating him and making it difficult for him to discharge his duties.
“He has even withdrawn all the county vehicles I am entitled to as his deputy. I have to use my personal car to carry out official business,” he told journalists at the hospital.
The deputy governor said no amount of intimidation would discourage him from serving the residents of the county.
Dr Mutua’s Media Liaison Director, Mr Eric Kamanga, said the car that was towed yesterday was not the Deputy Governor’s official car. He said Mr Kiala still had his official vehicle.
However, he could not say why the car was pulled away, saying those who towed it were in a better position to explain.
Health executive Naomi Mutie, who was present during the chaos, accused the leaders of taking their political wars to the hospital.
“This is a public health facility and we cannot allow politically fuelled confrontations to take place here,” she said.
She condemned the violence at the county’s largest hospital, which she said had made it difficult for sick people to access immediate attention.
Mrs Mutie said the incident was unfortunate and caused a negative impression of the hospital.