Police defy Raila as slum in Nairobi brought down
Posted by Administrator on March 27, 2012
Government officers yesterday defied Prime Minister Raila Odinga and proceeded to demolish Nairobi’s Mitumba slums. The demolition was conducted only a week after squatters returned to the disputed land. The village was first demolished in November last year as the Kenya Airports Authority moved to reclaim the land near the Wilson airport.
Bulldozers from the Ministry of Public Works descended on the slum dwellers yesterday morning under the watchful eye of more than 400 regular and administration police.Efforts by Raila who is area MP to intervene bore no fruits as police stood their ground saying they were effecting orders from the Office of the President.
Raila who arrived at the slum in the morning was seen consulting with senior police officers even as the bulldozers continue flattening some structures erected by the residents. He later left after addressing the villagers. He told them that he would return after consulting with the President. By last evening, the squatters were still waiting for the PM to address their plight as hundreds of them staged a demonstration along Mombasa Road. “The PM who is our MP was here this morning, but police defied him. It was shocking that junior officers could defy the Prime Minister,” said Mitumba village chairman Ezekiel Ombaso.
Ombaso said the squatters returned last week to the land after the PM told them to do so during a public rally in Kibera recently. “The PM addressed a rally recently in the presence of the PC Nairobi and other senior police officers where he asked us to return here until alternative land is found for us,” Ombaso added.
He said, a similar operation on Friday to evict them aborted after the Pm arrived and ordered the police to leave us as the government was looking for a lasting solution. “On Friday, they listen to him and left but today, it was a different situation. It seems now politics is at play yet we are suffering,” Ombaso added.
By last evening, hundreds of families were camping near the plot as tractors dug trenches for the construction of a perimeter wall. KAA has maintained the residents of the village had built on the flight path and ignored repeated quit notices issued to them but residents accuse the state of teting them in inhumae way. “The constitution of Kenya guarantees all Kenyans a right to descent treatment and housing yet the state is depriving us of the same by government,” Kenya slum dwellers association chairman Bernard Ominde said.
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