Investors who had put up buildings on land near Nyama Villa area near Kayole estate in Nairobi are counting losses after a man who initially owned the land moved in with excavators to bring them down early Tuesday amid tight security.
An angry Embakasi MP Benjamin Gathiru alias Mejja Donk, who tried to stop the demolitions, was arrested. He had demanded to be shown an eviction notice following complaints from aggrieved residents.
The owner obtained a court order a few years ago but the government at the time advised him to reach an amicable settlement with the buyers as the property on the land measuring 20 hectares is now worth billions of shillings. It is not clear whether the dialogue process was still ongoing.
On Tuesday, tenants, who are occupying the flats, were making frantic efforts to salvage their households goods even as police chased them away from time to time to prevent looting.
The excavators started bringing down buildings that were still under construction. One buyer told Business Today they were trying to secure a court order to stop the demolitions.
“They have taken us by surprise. There was no notice at all. Where to all these people go in the middle of the month. Whoever approved the demolitions is insensitive given that parents are preparing for the Christmas and New Year festivities and to pay school fees next year amid a strained economy,” he said.
“Even Governor Mike Sonko who had promised to settle the dispute is nowhere to be seen and is not picking calls,” he added.