• Villagers' homes flattened as armed security officers watch.
• MP condemns private developers who rush to courts for eviction orders without notifying the authorities.
More than 200 Shariani villagers in Kilifi South spent Tuesday night in the cold after a private developer demolished their houses.
Armed security officers kept watch as bulldozers flattened 23 houses.
The residents could not remove their household items since the demolitions were carried out at night.
Eric Mgoja accused the developer of forcing them out yet a court has not decided on a matter involving the land on which the houses are built.
Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi and Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga visited the area and expressed their dismay at the demolitions.
Saburi said that it was sad that private developers obtained court orders and failed to notify the authorities for prior arrangements to be made for the victims.
He said that the county is the trustee of all land within its borders.
“We are calling upon the National Land Commission and the Ministry of Lands to stop entertaining private developers by giving them documents for land without verifying with the county government,” he said.
Saburi said there was an increase in illegal evictions by private developers. Four villages in the same constituency have been affected in the past two months.
“We are fighting for a case at Mwendo wa Panya, Majengo, Mtwapa and now Shariani. When will this come to an end?” he asked.
Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga condemned the demolition and warned private developers against obtaining fake title deeds to force people out of their land.
“This family has stayed here for over 50 years. Where was this developer all this time? Today he just appears and obtains a court order to evict these poor people. This is unacceptable,” he said.
Chonga promised to follow up the matter so that justice is done.
Edited by Otieno Owino