Kawangware Tenants Drive Out Goons Sent to Evict Them [VIDEO]

  • Scenes from Coast area at Kawangware Nairobi county on August 13, 2020.
    Scenes from Coast area at Kawangware, Nairobi county on August 13, 2020.
  • Tenants at an apartment building in Kawangware area, Nairobi were on Thursday, August 13, forced to fight off goons who had been contracted to evict them.

    The tenants decried harassment from the letting agency over rent arrears in the past months despite having orders from the Rent Restriction Tribunal.

    A resident narrated that some of the tenants in the building at Coast area of Kawangware had been unable to pay their rent after losing their income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The requested to be given more time to clear their rent arrears but that was met with the agency disconnecting electricity and water for some of the tenants and the discontinuation of garbage collection services. 

    Scenes in Kawangware when residents confronted the men contracted to evict them on August 13, 2020.
    Scenes in Kawangware where residents confronted the men contracted to evict them on August 13, 2020.

    "They have repeatedly visited the premises with goons who have destroyed tenants’ property and threatened them, particularly the tenants who have been vocal about the injustices they have been facing," the Kwangware resident narrated.

    Defaulting tenants had been served with vacation notices asking them to leave the premises in 25 days. The residents moved to the Rent Restriction Tribunal (RRT) which gave orders to the agency and the building’s landlord to allow the tenants more time to pay their rent.  

    "The respondents, their servants, employees and agents are hereby restrained from levying distress, increasing rent, disconnecting water and electricity, evicting, harassing the tenants or in any manner interfering with their tenancies pending hearing of the application," orders issued by the RRT on July 21, read.

    However, on August 13, the agency engaged a group of men to forcefully eject the tenants resulting in demonstrations by the aggrieved residents.

    "Some tenants have had their windows panes removed which means that their property is exposed and can be stolen. They have had to endure harassment from the agency, its goons and the police on an all but daily basis," a resident stated.

    The hired men were overpowered by the angry residents and left the area.

    Watch the video below:

     A report detailing the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 in the country released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in May 2020, revealed that 30% of Kenyans were not able to pay their rent in the month of April and projected that as much as 61% of Kenyans were unable to pay in May. 

    The KNBS report indicated that more that 50% of Kenyan households in the country had recorded reduced incomes.

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