NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 19 – Another slum lying in a flight path this time near Wilson Airport in Nairobi has been demolished.
The demolition of Mitumba slum comes two months after the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) issued notices asking residents living on parcels of land in Syokimau, Kiang’ombe and Mitumba to vacate.
Residents are however questioning the move as plush homes next to the slum were left untouched, arguing that the government was going after the poor as they have no means to defend themselves.
“We thought that they would start with the estates only to see them demolishing ours. If it’s a case of flight path, then theses other houses are on it and should also come down. This is just harassment by the government because we are poor,” an enraged resident said.
The demolitions come barely a week after houses in a middle class estate in Syokimau were brought for also being constructed on a flight path.
A section of the Mitumba residents threatened to take matters in their hands and demolish the other houses.
The residents who were given notice on Friday told to pack their belongings and move are now seeking answers from their area Member of Parliament, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
“We are very annoyed with this because where are we supposed to go. As our area MP, Raila should come here and tell us where we are supposed to go,” one resident said.
The Cabinet has passed a resolution to evict residents who had encroached on airport land plus electricity and pipeline way leaves to avert future crisis like the one at the Sinai slum where more than 100 people were killed in a pipeline fire.
Previous notices of eviction have not been heeded after politicians meddled in the process.
Last week Transport Minister Amos Kimunya said told Parliament that he would not promise that the demolitions cease because there is a program that has been sanctioned.
“There is a program of demolitions to clear people who are illegally or irregularly settled on land that they should not be residing on for security purposes. It is meant to ensure that the country is safe from security threats that include a terrorist group,” Kimunya said in Parliament.