Was The Langata Fire Political?

Was Langata Fire Political?

Residents of some parts of Langata woke up to losses by an overnight fire incident. The timing of the fire and the response time by the relevant agencies leaves a lot to be desired.
Four people have so far lost their lives in the incident that has also left property of unknown value destroyed beyond reuse. Many people who were left homeless are currently being hosted in the community schools where they are also receiving humanitarian aid from well-wishers, government and non-governmental organizations.
Not all Kenyans believe that this was a natural incident caused by accidental hiccups such as electricity faults, leaking oil pipes or other uncontrollable factors. Many Kenyans who we interviewed have put a political angle to this incident.
Langata, as it stands, is the backyard of Raila Odinga in Nairobi. He once served as the member of parliament for Langata Constituency, which has since been divided into several constituencies.
Residents of Kibera, which is in Langata, are known to react the most violent everytime they have felt their leader is being treated unfairly. During the post elections violence that rocked the nation after 2007 elections, this area was one of the hotbeds where many lost their lives.
The fire, many say, could have been orchestrated by people who wanted to make a political statement leading up to the swearing in of the former prime minister as the people’s president tomorrow. While opinions are divided over which side this incident is going to favor, most people read malice in the entire situation.
Such fire incidents have been witnessed in Gikomba market any time a decision that affects powerful individuals with interests in the market is about to be made. Such decisions always revolve around encroachment of the market by private developers, fight for space by the traders, conflicts between local politicians and many others.
Could we be witnessing another of such incidents in Langata? Could people in Raila Odinga’s camp be trying to stir up anger in the residents with just a day to his much-hyped event? Could people in government be trying to instill fear on Raila Odinga’s supporters so that they do not attend the swearing in?
These are questions in Kenyans minds as we head to tomorrow. The police have promised to investigate the matter and we can only wait for their report.

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