EVICTEES TO BE RESETTLED

Nairobi bill to outlaw evictions during rains and weekends

Nairobi county assembly wants evictions carried out during the day and official working hours

In Summary

•The Nairobi City County Evictions, Resettlement and Demolitions Control Bill, 2020, has already gone through its first reading  

•The owner of private land shall prior to filing a suit for eviction, give written notice of at least three months before the date of the intended eviction

The scene of demolitions in Kariobangi North on Monday, May 4, 2020
The scene of demolitions in Kariobangi North on Monday, May 4, 2020
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

 

A Nairobi MCA wants the state barred from carrying out evictions during rainy weather and weekends.

Parklands ward representative Jayendra Malde has drafted a bill that seeks to make it illegal to carry out evictions on weekends and during the rainy season.

The Nairobi City County Evictions, Resettlement and Demolitions Control Bill, 2020, also proposes that demolitions of unauthorised structures in the capital should be carried out within the regular working hours, between Monday and Friday.

“The implementation of this Act shall be guided with protection from arbitrary evictions, protection and enforcement of fundamental freedoms and rights,” the bill reads.

It says demolitions may be done where the premises or land poses danger to a person or members of the public such as garbage dumps, riverbanks, sidewalks and parks.

Another condition is if the land has been set aside for a public utility or a court order is issued for evictions or demolition.

The bill which has already had its first reading in the assembly, says the reason for eviction shall give the unauthorised occupant at least 14 days to vacate the land or premises.

The owner of private land shall prior to filing a suit for eviction, give written notice of at least three months before the date of the intended eviction.

The bill comes in the wake of demolitions and evictions that have left more than 100 families homeless. Some have lost property and others suffered injuries.

In May, about 5,000 residents of Kariobangi North were left homeless after the government flattened their homes to repossess the grabbed land for the Dandora Estate Waste Sewerage Plant.

On May 8, the national government said it had suspended further demolitions for the next four months. The directive followed a public outcry over the cruel evictions during the rains and at a time Kenyans were battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two weeks later, at around 10pm, bulldozers arrived at Ruai. People were ordered to vacate before their houses were demolished.

At least 1,500 city residents were forced to spend a second night out in the cold amid heavy rains.

The government had said it will proceed with its planned sewer project, citing fears that donors funding the progrmamme could pull out.

On August 14, tenants in Kawangware were forced to fight off goons who had been contracted to forcefully evict them, despite having an order from the Rent Restriction Tribunal.

If Malde's bill is passed, the county government will be required to resettle evictees from public land. The lands executive will be required to prepare a resettlement plan for those affected.

“Where the return of the displaced persons is possible, the CEC shall establish conditions and provide means, including financial measures for voluntary return in safety, security and dignity to homes or places of habitual residence while ensuring the resettlement occurs in a just and equitable manner and in accordance with the resettlement plan,” the bill states.

 

Edited by P.O