Two men have now been reported dead following the overnight demolitions conducted by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) in Njiru, Nairobi County that left 5,000 residents homeless.
One of the men reportedly died due to shock and stress after he returned home to find all his life's possessions destroyed. Neighbours say he was repaying a loan that he had taken to buy and manage his property.
"The man was fine but the moment he found out that his property had been destroyed and land repossessed, he suddenly died," said one resident, Serah Wanjiku.
Residents of Njiru expressed their frustrations over the demolitions conducted by NMS stating that they had not been given an eviction notice and had been caught by surprise when they saw bulldozers descending on their houses at night.
They further stated that most of the residents were still in shock and were sinking into depression as they have nowhere else to settle.
"NMS and the government should have given us sufficient notice considering we had bought lands. That way, we would have been prepared on where to go. Many people are physically and mentally affected with some even sleeping outside," stated one of the residents.
Serah Wanjiku said that the government did not care about them, saying that they had elected leaders who only cared about their own lives while the rest of the Kenyans suffered inhumane treatment.
"This incident has taken me back more than 30 years. If this is what the government is doing, it is really wrong. People had even taken loans to build their homes, but the moment we have settled, the government comes and destroys everything," wept Wanjiku.
Makadara MP George Aladwa criticized the demolitions, terming them as inhumane. He further stated that the national government should have ensured that citizen's rights were protected and accorded equal treatment as required of them by the constitution.
He further stated that the national government should have considered the tough economic times brought about by Covid-19 saying the demolitions would hit the residents hard.
"While I welcome all the intended development projects in our sub-county from both the county and national government, it is hard to understand the motivation behind evicting people from their homes at a time when the President has announced cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi. How will the affected look for new homes at a time when the same government has restricted movement?" he posed.
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