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TRADE ACCUSATIONS

Blame games between NMS, City hall over collapsed Mukuru building

Residents of Mukuru Kwa Njenga left in despair after building collapsed killing one.

In Summary

• 13 people were left injured and one died on the spot when the building collapsed.

• The incident  occurred as NMS was paving way for expansion of roads in the informal settlements.

Mukuru slum.
Mukuru slum.
Image: Photo/File

City Hall and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services have traded accusations over 'demolitions' in the Mukuru kwa Njenga informal settlements.

On Monday, residents of Mukuru Kwa Njenga were left in despair after a building collapsed killing one and left 13 injured.

 

The incident  occurred as NMS was paving way for expansion of roads in the informal settlements.

On Tuesday, Area MCA Evans Otiso, said that the building collapsed as people were attempting to safeguard their property.

“The residents were given the notice and after receiving information on demolitions, they attempted to hurriedly move out before the bulldozers reached the place,” were underway,” he said.

Several bulldozers descended on the buildings bringing down structures that were once referred to homes by residents .

Otiso revealed 13 people were left injured and one died on the spot when the building collapsed.

Four of those injured are currently admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The body of the deceased was taken to City Mortuary.

Despite supporting development in the area, Otiso said NMS could have given the residents enough time to vacate before bringing in the bulldozers.

 

“The residents being displaced are no land grabbers but residents who have been living in Mukuru for many years. We are in support the roads being done by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service but this is a disaster because a life has been lost,” he explained.

It has been established that NMS had given a one-day notice for the residents to vacate their houses.

The MCA stated that he is yet to meet with NMS officials concerning the tragedy that occurred.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Tuesday condemned the manner in which NMS carried out Mukuru Kwa Rueben demolitions terming it inhumane.

Sonko’s spokesperson Ben Mulwa says that NMS failed to provide alternative residences for the victims which is against human rights.

"All of us including the governor would wish Nairobi to transform but these demolitions must be done in a humane way. They must be done within the law, and ensure that the rights of the affected families are protected..and when we continue to subject a citizen to this kind of inhumanity then it misses the purpose the development,’’ Mulwa said.

Sonko said he fully supports transformation in the slums and all he requires is that the same should be done rightfully without causing pain to the residents.

Giving clarification to the matter, NMS said they were not carrying out any forceful demolitions noting the death was as a result of an accident.

“Since Mukuru was declared a special planning area, the community and NGOs had agreed on which areas to clear and which not. The man was bringing down his own structure when he had the accident. NMS was not involved and we have not had any forceful evictions in Mukuru,” said NMS Director of communications, Tony Mbarire.

He further explained that the community and non-governmental organisations had agreed on plans to clear the area after being declared a special planning zone and NMS has never evicted anyone by force.

Mukuru Kwa Njenga, in August 2017, was officially declared as a Special Planning Area by the County Government of Nairobi.

The declaration also put a stop to any further development in the almost 650 acres area for a two-year period until a Mukuru Integrated Development Plan was produced.

Giving an update of the ongoing development plans in Mukuru last month , NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi stated that works were progressing on smoothly and uninterrupted.

He also noted that the Special Planning Area Framework had been extended for a further two-year period.

“I wish to report that Mukuru informal settlement Renewal Programme is well underway and we have extended the Special Planning Area Framework for the area for a further two-year period.

"Three sector plans – water and sanitation, Roads & drainage and electrification were finalized and implementation commenced in May 2020,” Badi noted.