MPs probe Syokimau demolitions

November 22, 2011 7:40 am
A resident carries away iron sheets from the demolished homes/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Syokimau and Kyangombe evictees have pleaded with the government to resettle them as investigations into the ownership of thee disputed parcels goes on.

The residents who are now staring at loses after bulldozers flattened their homes argued they have been paying land rates to the Mavoko County Council.

They told a joint parliamentary committee formed to investigate the controversial demolitions that they have remitted up to Sh29 million in land rates.

Irene Munyoki said she had lived in Syokimau since 2008, and questioned the contradiction between different government agencies on the ownership which led to the demolitions leaving hundreds homeless.

“I don’t think we have a government. I didn’t know that a government we love and belong to can do this to its own people, we are very bitter.”

The parliamentary committee probing the recent demolitions near the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, was on Tuesday morning expected to hear submissions from the Syokimau and Kyang’ombe landowners and evictees.

The team on Monday toured the affected areas where affected property owners claimed the demolitions were to make way for private and foreign developers.

A Kyangombe evictee told the committee that private contractors had begun developing go downs on the disputed land.

Area MPs Wavinya Ndeti and Ferdinand Waititu have vowed to ensure their constituents’ welfare is addressed.

Committee chairman Mutava Musyimi ordered the Kenya Airports Authority to present a map of the areas before they were demolished to ascertain whether the settlements were in the flight path as they claimed.

The committee comprises relevant departmental committees including that on Administration and National Security, Lands and Natural Resources Transport, Housing and Public Works and Local Authorities.

At the same time, two MPs accused of owing plots in the affected areas refuted the claims saying they were aimed at tarnishing their image and standing.

Ndeti said; “I have never sold anybody’s land and I have no plans to do so.” Waititu on his part claimed the allegations could have been masterminded by the opponents.

“This is a conspiracy with the government to fight its own people,” claimed the assistant minister.


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