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Pupils tear-gassed during protest over grabbed playground

Pupils of Lang’ata Road Primary School were on Monday dispersed by teargas as they protested the grabbing of their playground by a private developer.

Anti-riot police lobbed teargas canisters at the protesting pupils who were attempting to bring down a wall that was erected on their playground.

Initial reports indicate that at least five pupils were rushed to Lang’ata hospital for treatment.

The pupils, who reported in school early Monday morning, came out from their classrooms at around 10am and proceeded to what used to be their playground.

REPULSED

Backed by protesters from different civil society groups, they were repulsed by anti-riot police who had camped outside and around the school since early morning.

Police had been deployed to the area and vetted everyone accessing the school. Journalists and activists were kept outside the school’s gate.

Activists, led by Boniface Mwangi, last week announced that they would be join the school’s pupils to help bring down the wall and reclaim the playground in a protest dubbed #OccupyPlayGround.

The school’s playground was fenced during the December school holidays by a private developer who claims ownership of the land.

SCHOOLS REOPEN

The National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri on Friday visited the playground last week and stated that he would liaise with the county government to have it open for the children when schools reopen.

He added that investigations into how the title deeds were acquired by the private developer would continue.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale had mentioned that he would be in attendance at the #Occupyplayground protests buttravelled to the UK on Sunday evening after notifying the activists that he would be away.