Ministers summoned over Syokimau demolitions

November 17, 2011 2:18 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – Lands Minister James Orengo and his Local Government counterpart Musalia Mudavadi have been summoned by a joint parliamentary committee over the controversial demolitions that saw a middle class estate in Syokimau pulled down together with the Kyang’ombe and Masai slums.

The two ministers are set to appear before the committee, led by Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi, on November 24 to explain the reasons behind the demolitions that left hundreds of people homeless.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Musyimi revealed that his committee would also summon Cabinet ministers Amos Kimunya, Njeru Githae, Soita Shitanda and Attorney General Githu Muigai before compiling its report.

He explained that his team would only recommend the way forward after putting all the officials to task.

“We have put the Attorney General at the tail end so that by the time we talk to him we will have gathered enough information on the way forward. The information we gather from the ministers will form the basis for our discussions with the AG,” he said.

The committee is also set to meet officials from the Mavoko County Council together with those from the Nairobi City Council before talking to the evictees, Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti and Embakasi’s Ferdinand Waititu.

“We intend to meet the victims of the demolitions, and all the other complainants including the Kenya Airports Authority on Tuesday next week,” he said.

The committee has two weeks to conduct its investigations and submit its report to Parliament.

On Wednesday, the government announced that it would not compensate or resettle affected families that were living in the slums whom it accused of grabbing public land.

Kimunya told Parliament that the residents ignored several vacation notices issued to them and continued living on the land.

“The government has no plan to offer alternative sites to the evictees because they had illegally occupied land belonging to KAA and the government cannot compensate people who grab private land as it would encourage the trend,” he stressed.

Kyang’ombe and Masai slums in Embakasi constituency bore the first brunt of the demolitions before the bulldozers progressed to the estate in Syokimau in Mavoko constituency.

The demolitions have however been halted by a court order.

Wednesday’s parliamentary session also saw several MPs demand that Orengo and Kimunya name and shame MPs who they accused of fraudulently acquiring parcels of land.

The MPs want the Executive to substantiate the claims arguing that they were tarnishing their public image.

“We must be told who the land grabbers, rapists and corrupt people in this house are,” Dujis MP Aden Duale said.

“Our names have been tarnished and it is imperative that MPs know how many acres have been stolen and by who. The sooner we know the names the better; our names must be cleared,” said Lari MP David Njuguna.

A ruling whether or not the names will be revealed will be issued on November 22.


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