A section of Wajir county residents today took to the streets to protest the fencing of Qorahey grounds.
The angry residents stormed the grounds and destroyed the recently erected monument in commemoration of Wagalla massacre.
The county government plans to fence the grounds saying that it is a protected site that is gazetted by the National Museums of Kenya as a heritage site.
Speaking to journalists at his office, Wajir County Governor Ahmed Abdullahi said that their aim was to protect the grounds from land grabbers who were eyeing it for a long time now and turn it into a modern public park.
The residents however smell a rat in the said plan saying that land grabbers hiding behind the veil of developing the grounds are out to take it over.
They accused the county government of sanctioning the plan which was hatched by powerful individuals to hoodwink the public in to believing that the grounds will be protected and developed into a public park.
The governor added that those doing business at the grounds would be allowed to continue doing so until his government builds designated market stalls in the town and relocates them.
“Those behind the destruction of the monument will be brought to book” said Abdullahi adding that they will protect Qorahey at all cost.
Qorahey ground plays an important role in the lives of both the residents and visitors to the town. Despite the fact that many people earn their daily bread by operating small businesses here, visitors on transit to and from other towns such as Mandera and Moyale park their vehicles at the grounds during their stop overs in the town.
During dry spells, water is tracked from the shallow wells in Qorahey to all the corners of the County.
All these will be history should the ground fall on the wrong hands as feared by the residents.
Grabbing of public land was rampant in the defunct Wajir county council.
“Some of the senior officers who served then are in the county government today, these are the same people. They have only changed their shirts. We fear they may continue from where they left” said a protester who only identified himself as Mohamud.