Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris has protested the manner in which demolition of buildings on a disputed piece of land in Nyama Villa area in Nairobi was conducted.
Residents of the area, whose ownership is claimed by one individual, were woken up in the wee hours of the morning by the sudden arrival of contingents of police officers and excavators to bring down the buildings worth millions of shillings.
Passaris, who came face to face with the agony those evicted were facing, said their welfare should have been considered first, noting it is women, children and the elderly who are most affected in such cases.
Though there has been a raging dispute over the land in Kayole and , investors and their tenants say they were never notified of the demolitions undertaken by Nairobi City County enforcement officers as the latter scrambled to salvage the little they could.
“In the event of forceful displacement of people such as in Nyama Villa today, women, children and the elderly are the most affected citizens. It’s imperative that the welfare of the people is put first in such operations,” she tweeted after visiting the area.
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.
In the event of forceful displament of people such as in Nyama Villa today, women, children and the elderly are the most affected citizens. It’s imperative that the welfare of the people is put first in such operations. pic.twitter.com/aePBs7tn72
— Hon. Esther M Passaris (@EstherPassaris) December 18, 2018
“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,” one investor told Business Today.
“Even Governor Mike Sonko who had promised to settle the dispute is nowhere to be seen and is not picking calls,” he added.
The man, who initially owned the land, had obtained a court order a few year ago but the government advised him to go for an out-of-court settlement given the high value the property has gained over the years.