By Felix Muriithi, Kimuri fm
Businesses within Embu town were forced to close down after residents staged demonstrations following an uncontained huge fire that razed down properties worth millions in the Embu’s Marikiti market.
The fire that started at around 3AM, according to reports, was allegedly lit by arsonists who first killed a watchman guarding the area.
During the demonstrations, the rioters burned tires shouting ‘haki yetu’ but were later repulsed by anti-riot police. Motorists suffered a blow as rioters also threw stones destroying their vehicles.
Embu Market Traders CBO Chairman James Njiru said no fire engine turned up to help extinguish the fire, reportedly because they were grounded.
“Efforts to reach the fire brigade were futile as all had grounded due to mechanical problem. How could all the fire engines be grounded at the same time?
These properties could have been salvaged if the fire brigades responded on time,” added John Mugo Mate, Embu County Chairman of Chambers of Commerce.
Mate said it is a big joke by the county government for grounding of the fire engines because of repairs that cost less than Sh20, 000.
Efforts to have Governor Martin Wambora address them bore no fruit as they shouted him down however he managed to tell them that all affected will be compensated.