13 arrested, chief hospitalized as mourners clash with police in Kilifi

A 52-year-old man died at a lodging in Migori./COURTESY

Kilifi, KENYA:13 people have been arrested following an incident where mourners clashed with police officers in Shariani village of Kilifi South Sub-county on Friday night.

The 13 were arrested after a multi-agency was dispatched to the area to quell a fracas that had ensued between the mourners and police officers.

Trouble started when police officers went to intervene in a banned disco matanga ( a celebratory night vigil where mourners comfort the family of a deceased)  in Junju location.

Members of the public had earlier reported to the area chief who went into the compound accompanied by four police officers trying to stop the ceremony.

“The mourners turned rowdy and started pelting the officers with stones and bottles” The Kilifi county Police commander Frederick Ochieng said in a statement.

Ochieng added that some of the mourners grabbed a police officer prompting police to fire in the air in a bid to rescue their embattled colleague.

The ensuing fracas saw the area chief, sub-chief and three police officers sustain injuries.

The area Chief who has been identified as David Kahindi fractured his leg and has been admitted at the Kilifi county referral hospital.

This comes amidst a ban on disco matanga’s in the county with county law enforcement officers and leaders arguing that the ceremony is to be blamed for the high no of teen pregnancies experienced last year.

Last year the county recorded up to 14,000 teen pregnancies, which was among the highest in the country.

However, Bango musicians whose career has been hit hard by the ban have argued that they are not to be blamed for the pregnancies.

During a press briefing held in November last year at the Bango maestro Mzee Ngala’s home in Frere town in Mombasa, the musicians blamed reckless parenting for the teen pregnancies.

However, Mr. Ochieng has said that authorities in the county would work to enforce the ban.

Bango music not cause of teenage pregnancies in Kilifi, says, artists,

Musical equipment was confiscated by police during the incident.

Those arrested are expected to be arraigned in court once investigations into the incident are complete.