•The exercise was being spearheaded by police officers and hired men who were demolishing the buildings from market centres to homes.
•Johnson Kanandu, the area MCA, said the eviction comes at a time when the country is battling a pandemic, most locals are elderly while others have little children stating that it is also a rainy season.
Residents from Mumoni sub county near Kiambere dam in Mwingi North, have been left homeless after their houses were demolished following an eviction order.
The ongoing demolitions started on Friday.
The residents living in Katithini, burrow pit among other areas inside the Tana Athi Rivers Development Authority land were evicted after the expiry of one and half years notice that had been issued.
In the eviction letter by TARDA acting managing director Emilio Mugo, he said the court granted the execution order dated September 3 last year and directed the regional police commander Eastern region, to provide security during the eviction.
Despite the notice, most residents seemed stranded not sure where to head next.
The exercise was being spearheaded by police officers and hired men who were demolishing the buildings from market centres to homes. However, other residents preferred removing the iron sheets, timber and other household items by themselves.
Three schools and churches on the said land are also set to be demolished before the end of the exercise that was set to take three days.
Kithumuoni Primary School Headteacher, Peter Kivurya, complained that the eviction notice was very short.
“As we prepare to open schools, many pupils will be inconvenienced by the evictions,” he said.
Kivurya said more than 300 pupils have been affected in the three schools which include Kithumuoni Primary school, Katithini Primary school, and Kiruri Primary school that partly sits on the TARDA land.
He pleaded with the government to intervene and give residents more time citing harsh economic times brought about by Covid-19.
Sammy Mutua, a resident said they have been rendered squatters having been poorly paid by TARDA and many affected locals are too vulnerable.
“Some of them were given Sh300 in exchange for an acre of their shambas. What can that amount of money buy?” he posed.
He also decried that there were outsiders who were highly compensated on the compensation list yet they owned no land there.
Peter Muthui, a Pastor in the area alleged that the eviction exercise is set to benefit few individuals at the expense of the common citizen.
He urged the government to step in and save the people from the looming crisis as many are bound to suffer following the eviction.
Johnson Kanandu, the area MCA, said the eviction comes at a time when the country is battling a pandemic, most locals are elderly while others have little children stating that it is also a rainy season.
Kanandu also decried that the locals are being evicted from the land while the government is supposed to protect them.
Condemning the act, the county legislator said the eviction order required TARDA to demarcate the region through the cut line and reinstate the beacons to easily identify targeted families.
“This eviction will also affect persons who are not living on TARDA land as the boundary is not clear,” Kanandu said.
He also said the many policemen deployed in the region to spearhead the eviction were a waste of resources as the locals were calm and obeyed the orders.
“I am urging our President to step in and save people from displacement,” he said.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris