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How hired thugs ruined this widow’s New Year

It was a restive season for a family in Nairobi’s Upper Hill neighborhood after goons destroyed their residence following a protracted legal dispute.

According to Mrs Judith Njenga, a widow, a horde of more than forty goons descended on her house on December 22, destroying the roof, doors and windows.

“The house is too big and I have therefore rented out some rooms. I received several calls from some of my tenants,” Ms Njenga recounted.

“I was in the house when the stones started raining, but I could not stop them. They were too many,” said her son Brian Njenga.

According to the widow, the attack was an attempt to evict her from the house which has, since 2004, been the subject of a court battle with a real estate company.

“I have not received any eviction notice from the court,” she clarified.

Puzzling attack

It was not the first time the house was being attacked but it is the timing of the attacks, just around Christmas Day that has left her puzzled.

On the eve of the 2011 Christmas, a similar attack took place.

Two men stand outside the house that was destroyed by a mob, just a few days to Christmas. Mrs Judith Njenga claimed the attack was the second in two years in an attempt to force her out of the property that is the subject of a court battle.  Salaton Njau, NairobiNews
Two men stand outside the house that was destroyed by a mob, just a few days to Christmas. Mrs Judith Njenga claimed the attack was the second in two years in an attempt to force her out of the property that is the subject of a court battle. Salaton Njau, NairobiNews

The family reported it to the Capital Hill Police Station, but Mrs Njenga claimed investigations were not conducted.

“I am afraid that since then, the police have not followed up to apprehend the people behind the demolition,” she said.

Even after reporting the latest attack, she said she was doubtful any action will be taken.

Hearing date

“We will wait for the next hearing date of the case when we will present our  complaints in court,” said the businesswoman.

The family said most of the destroyed property was beyond repair. The incident has left the family and the tenants in fear of more attacks.

“We don’t know when next the people will come. I am hoping they will not visit us at night,” she said.

When NairobiNews visited the house, some tenants were loading their belongings into pick ups ready   to move houses, not willing to bet their wellbeing on Mrs Njenga’s hope.

She said she had  lived in the house  since 1974 with her family.

Her husband  died in 2005.