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Posted by Administrator on November 25, 2011

PRIME Minister Raila Odinga and his brother Finance assistant minister Oburu Oginga were mentioned as having a substantial interest in a company that claims part of the Kiang’ombe land.

Embakasi MP and Water assistant minister Ferdinand Waititu yesterday told the parliamentary probe into the ongoing demolitions yesterday that this is why the residents did not receive any help from the government.

Waititu said Alex Julius Lando and Walter Okuku were also listed as owning shares in the company, Newspoint Ltd, jointly with Raila and his brother.

During the afternoon session of the committee chaired by Mutava Musyimi at County Hall, Waititu said he had discovered that Kaddu party leader Cyrus Jirongo held a claim to Kiang’ombe land where residents were evicted two weeks before the Syokimau demolitions. Waititu said he was undertaking further searches at the Registry of Companies and would table a longer list on Friday morning. He mentioned former State House Comptroller Lawi Kiplagat as having interests in the area.

“These people got the titles when the residents were already settled in the area. These names are the reason why our people could not get any help when when the bulldozers came calling,” Waititu said.

Kathiani MP and Sports assistant minister Wavinya Ndeti told the committee that she failed to get an appointment with President Kibaki after the demolitions begun because he was waiting to be briefed on the matter. Ndeti said Internal Security PS Francis Kimemia told her he did not have answers for her. “I had to have a plan A, B and C and this is why I approached my colleagues in Parliament,” she said.

She reiterated the matter was already in court, that a ruling was expected last Tuesday, and the issue is linked to the politics of extending Nairobi into Machakos County.

“There are those who have said they will push us until Mto wa Mawe in Athi River but we are telling them that we will push them until they retain the original boundary of Machakos and Nairobi,” an emotional Ndeti told the MPs.

Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan said Eastleigh South residents watched their properties being demolished without explanation or notice from the government.

Meanwhile, the ongoing government sanctioned demolitions claimed an entire slum yesterday, as the military intensified its operations to pull down structures built along its flight paths.

Kitui Village, situated behind Shauri Moyo, was flattened to the ground with five neighbouring multi-storeyed apartments having their foundations weakened by the bulldozers. Military officers, who have been silent on the demolitions since Tuesday, stood inside the safety of the Moi Airbase grounds issuing orders to their juniors.

Resident Njau Kasyoki was nearly knocked down by a speeding vehicle on Jogoo Road, as he rushed back to his one-roomed house after he got a call from his neighbour that bulldozers were being ferried to the slum. “My neighbour sent me three ‘please call me’ texts and it was very unusual for him to call me as we have nothing much to talk about. My sixth sense nudged me to call back, and the news was horrific,” he narrated.

“I could hear women in the background wailing and immediately sprinted from my workplace on Dunga Road in Industrial Area,” said Kasyoki fighting back tears, as he did not manage to salvage anything from the house. Resident Mweu Nzamba says she lost virtually everything she owned.

“We did not have time to move out. We have never been given any notice and the news we have been getting that one day the slum will be flattened has been always treated as rumours, with our landlords assuring us that we are safe,” she said, fighting back tears.

Former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua watched helplessly as the heavy machinery demolished an ablution block he had put up in the informal settlement using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Mbugua condemned the government for the arbitrary demolitions, saying that the poor have no place in this government. He pledged to donate food to the affected families. The owner of one of the five-storey apartment blocks reportedly collapsed in shock when he received news that the bulldozers had weakened the pillars of the building. Later in the afternoon, two bulldozers were moved back to Eastleigh Section Three to continue from where they left off on Tuesday.

Kenya Air Force personnel, for the second day, running stood guard as the demolitions continued while many tenants woke up to find big X markings on their apartment buildings indicating that they were scheduled for demolition.

Hundreds of residents in Eastleigh were seen moving with their household goods to seek alternative housing, as scores of the buildings set to be pulled down bore the brand “demolish”.

The tenants accused the soldiers of harassment and intimidation as they were grabbing their phones as they tried to report the demolitions with their cellphones. The soldiers were grabbing and crashing underfoot the cellphones they took from the residents.

Matatu operators also complained the soldiers had been forcing them to get out of their vehicles and sit in puddles of rainwater and sewage whenever they slowed down or stopped to let off of pick up passengers near the Moi Airbase.

Source: http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/50754-demos


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