A photo-journalist attached to Nation Media Group has been clobbered by police officers in Mombasa while covering Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) protests.
In photos circulating on social media, the journalist identified as Laban Walloga is seen scampering for safety with a camera at hand as the police officer holding a teargas canister and a baton goes after him.
The journalist was covering protests by Mombasa residents and business men over the demerits of SGR that have negatively affected the economy of the region.
Speaking to a local publication, Fauz Khalid, a business man in the region narrated that the protests began peacefully, with protesters matching before the police were deployed and fired teargas canisters at protesters while going after them with clubs.
“The protest started at around 10AM and it was dispersed around an hour later. They were beating people up with long sticks, some of them were not even in uniform,” narrated Khalid.
Reports also indicated that four people had been arrested in the process, with Hussein Khalid, HAKI Africa Executive Director among them.
They were allegedly taken to Mombasa Central Police Station with reports of their release yet to be made known.
— AbuSakeena (@FauzKhalid) January 13, 2020
The protests follow the directive by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, who stated that all goods arriving at the port of Mombasa needed to be transported by the SGR.
This, according to majority of residents and business people affected the economy since it interfered with their sources of income.
The protests were thus to air out the grievances and have business restored to residents through reversing the directive.