At least one security guard was killed and another critically injured after they were attacked by squatters opposed to the building of a wall around a disputed piece of land in Nguu Tatu, Kisauni, Mombasa county on Saturday evening.
The guards, hired from a private security firm by Bandari Sacco, had arrived at the 60-acre piece of land to help police secure the site.
“One was pronounced dead. They also burnt three dogs belonging to the security guards,” Bandari CEO Joseph Bee said.
He accused the police of doing little to help secure the piece of land though AP officers are supposed to guard it.
“The security guards say by the time they were being attacked at around 5.30 pm, the officers were not there,” Bee said.
The incident follows another attack by the squatters last Friday that resulted in a truck being torched.
The truck was ferrying building materials that had remained from the site after the completion of the construction of the perimeter wall.
The courts had allowed Bandari Sacco to put up the perimeter wall around the disputed land.
Bandari contracted Henpoint Kenya Limited to put up the wall.
However, the squatters thrice pulled the wall down delaying the exercises by several months.
The squatters say they were allowed to stay at the piece of land by previous owner Hussein Dairy Farm.
Bandari Sacco says it bought the land at Sh300 million in 2011 and there was no one on it by that time.
Kisauni police boss Sangura Musee said there was a fracas between the squatters and the security guards but could not confirm the death.
“What I know is that we have our officers who usually guard that place. About the security guards having dogs there I have not heard,” Musee said.
He, however, accused the Bandari Sacco of going against most of the security advice they give them.
“Much as we talk and agree on this, they do the opposite and later we hear something has happened,” Musee told the Star on phone.
The security personnel believe there is infighting within Bandari Sacco and a rival group is provoking the attacks for selfish gains.
Kisauni deputy county commissioner Kipchumba Ruto has held several meetings between the squatters and the Sacco officials to find an amicable solution to the dispute.
Ruto has discouraged violence over the matter.
The security apparatus had also warned the Sacco against employing any other security personnel apart from police.
“How can they take private security guards to that volatile area. It is not a good idea,” Ruto told the Star on phone on Sunday.