Skip to main content
January 16, 2019

Rights groups ask Uhuru to halt Nairobi and Mau Forest evictions

Families watch as their properties were being destroyed in Kibera Slums on 24th july, 2018./victor imboto
Families watch as their properties were being destroyed in Kibera Slums on 24th july, 2018./victor imboto

Eight human rights organisations appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday to stop ongoing and planned forced evictions in Nairobi and elsewhere.

The groups want the President to declare a moratorium on mass evictions until the government can ensure the removals comply with the law and international conventions.

Rights groups claim Kura has targeted at least 10 other informal settlements for evictions after Kibera to make way for road projects. This will subject thousands of residents to suffering, they said.

The groups are Cradle Kenya, Amnesty International, Slum Dwellers International, Shining Hope for Communities, Change Mtaani, International Commission of Jurists, Economic and Social Centre and Pamoja Trust. Their executive directors addressed a press conference at Amnesty International offices at Parkfield Place in Westlands.

“Both the multi-sectoral committee on unsafe structures and the Kura have publicly declared their intentions to repeat the violence we have seen in Kibera in the coming weeks,” Cradle Kenya CEO Michael Wasonga said.

The call follows demolitions in Kibera slum and Mau Forest that have left thousands of people homeless. The groups said the government has also planned demolitions in Deep Sea in Parklands, Accra, Ngara, Kenya Power and Kenya Railways reserves in Kaloleni, Makongeni, Mbotela, Mutindwa, Dandora and Kamae near Kenyatta University.

Kura has only issued an eviction notice to more than 3,000 residents of Deep Sea slum to pave way for a link road, the groups said.

But Kura communications officer John Cheboi dismissed the claim as a fabrication aimed at whipping up the public against the government. Cheboi said the authority has planned to construct roads in Ngara and Deep Sea slums and it was already negotiating with the affected residents to relocate.

“This is a big lie and these NGOs need to tell the truth at all times. They should not manufacture lies to incite,” Cheboi said.

The human rights groups faulted Kura for disregarding a court order that stopped the eviction and violatng an agreement it struck with the National Land Commission, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and representatives of the residents.They agreed that residents should not be evicted without a resettlement plan, the groups said.

“What we have seen is the highest form of dishonesty on the part of Kura. It is a violation of human rights that must be condemned,” Haki Jamii executive director Pauline Vata said.

The groups asked the ministry of Transport and Kura to make public the list of those affected by demolitions in Kibera and act on the agreed resettlement plan.

But Cheboi accused the organisations of insincerity, saying Kura has been working with them since 2016.

Poll of the day