LAND TUSSLE

City residents evicted from Kariokor cemetery land

At least 30 residents in Kariokor have been left homeless after county askaris demolished their houses believed to have been built on land belonging to commonwelath war cemetry.

In Summary

 
• The houses, which were built of iron sheets and timber, were demolished after residents were given time to remove their households.

•Kariokor ward rep Millicent Mugadi told the Star that the people had encroached on private land meant for graves.

A bulldozer demolishes structures on Commonwealth war cemetery land in Kariokor Nairobi
LEFT HOMELESS: A bulldozer demolishes structures on Commonwealth war cemetery land in Kariokor Nairobi
Image: VICTOR IMBOTO

A section of Kariokor residents on Saturday were evicted from the Commonwealth war cemetery land.

The around 30 residents watched helplessly as bulldozers flattened their homes. They have lived in the area for three years.

At noon, around 200 city askaris arrived in their patrol cars and a bulldozer to evict residents.

 
 

The houses, which were built of iron sheets and timber, were demolished after residents were given time to remove their households.

Residents, who claimed to have been living there since 2016, tried to protest, but they eventually gave up and watched the demolition take place.

They said they had not been warned or given relocation notices.

Chief Francis Kimemea said he knew nothing about the demolition.

But Kariokor ward rep Millicent Mugadi told the Star that the people had encroached on private land meant for graves.

"This is not the first time we are having this issue. They know very well that they do not own the land, only that where they built there were no graves," she said.

 Mugadi said the cemetery is not full.

 

The land is part of the Commonwealth war cemetery, only that it does not have tombs.

Over 40,000 carrier corps died in the colonial era and are buried in Commonwealth war cemeteries across the country.

The Commonwealth war graves are scattered throughout the country from Mombasa to Gilgil to Kiganjo. 

In Nairobi, there are four war cemeteries and located on Ngong Road, Nairobi South Cemetery on Bunyala Road, Forest Road Cemetery in Pangani and Kariokor Cemetery.