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Senators demand compensation for Kariobangi North families after demolition

The government has come under fire with a section of senators demanding that it compensates more than 7, 000 families left homeless after demolition of their houses in Kariobangi North, Nairobi.

Led by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, the senators want the government to also take legal action against state officials involved in illegal allocation of public land.

They accused the government of engaging in impunity and demanded a plan to compensate the affected residents who lost property and homes in the Monday morning demolitions.

Mr Sakaja termed the demolitions “totally inhuman, ill-advised and executed at the wrong time without even giving a reasonable notice to the residents to vacate,” criticising the government for ignoring a court order stopping the demolitions until a case on the matter is heard and determined.

The MP questioned why state agencies were in a rush to render thousands of families homeless when there is restriction of movement due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is completely incomprehensible as to why a government would be in a rush to render thousands of families homeless at such a time when the country is facing a pandemic and citizens are being urged to stay at home. The government is contravening its own guidelines,” said Mr Sakaja.

He pointed out that as much as they support the repossession of all public land, proper humane methods must be used and the vulnerable in society protected.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior accused government leaders of committing human rights violations and not valuing the same voters who elected them.

“Something is wrong with how this government treats human beings. What is happening in Nairobi, particularly the evictions, is a violation of human rights,” said Mr Kilonzo.

His Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen, whose constituents were affected the ongoing heavy rains and landslides, also criticised the state evictions.

The senators have also demanded the government provides a detailed report on the circumstances that led to the evictions in Kariobangi Sewerage area and the mechanisms that will ensure the rights of innocent residents are not infringed upon.

Sakaja further wants the state to outline any legal action taken against government officers involved in illegal allocation of public land and road reserves as well as a report on all land in Nairobi County officially mapped as public land and road reserves.

On his part, Senator Kilonzo has urged the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee led by Sakaja to find a way of immediately assisting the affected families in Kariobangi.