, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14 – Syokimau residents on Monday blamed the government for issuing them with approvals to construct homes and destroying the same buildings it had approved.
They told Capital News that the Mavoko County Council and the Machakos Municipal Council duly approved their plans as required.
“We got all our papers… we got the allotment letters. Before any constructions we had to get approval from Mavoko, isn’t Mavoko county council a government institution? This is the same government destroying our homes,” David Singombe whose four-bedroomed palatial home was destroyed wondered.
He said he did not understand why the government was having double standards.
Singombe who moved his family to his home about a year ago says he purchased the half acre piece of land in 2008 and had his papers searched at the Lands Ministry to establish if his land was legally acquire and once he confirmed it was genuine, he went ahead to obtain it.
“I bought the land in 2008. I went through all the processes, even when I started the construction, everything was alright,” he recalls.
“I had to take my family to their mother in law. I don’t want them to stay here to see all this mess, they can collapse because I almost did as I watched the bulldozers pulling my house down yesterday (Sunday) evening,” he explains.
Betty Mumo who was still reeling from the shock of losing her Sh10 million home says her husband went missing since Monday morning.
“My husband left early this morning, I don’t know where he went to, but all his mobile phones have been switched off. We have three children and I don’t know how we will live after losing our house and money,” she asserts.
Mumo also points fingers to the government wondering why the State has not intervened or why it took so many years for them to be informed that their pieces of land had been illegally acquired, “What kind of government is this? Why wait for all these years then come and destroy everything we have worked for all these years?”
Nicholas Wambua whose family of three has taken refuge at a nearby church says he does not know how he will pay his bank loan now that he has nowhere to live.
“I had to take a loan from another bank to pay the other bank, it has been a struggle raising money to bring up my house, imagine now I am going to pay for house that I don’t even have, I have no idea where my family will live because they can’t stay in the church throughout,” he says.
When Capital News arrived at the scene, most of the residents were still busy picking pieces that they could salvage after their homes were destroyed over the weekend.
Some of them spent most of the afternoon in small groups recounting their losses while others kept on hoping the government will compensate them.
Others believed it was a mistake that their houses were destroyed as they thought they were nowhere near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
However sources at Kenya Airports Authority told Capital News that it had been issuing notices to the residents on several occasions.
But the demolitions posed many questions over how the residents managed to get approval from the government to construct their houses with some of them having lived in the area for over 20 years.
Other affected areas include Ungani which is closest to JKIA and Jumbo followed by Syokimau which the residents affected referred to as Mlolongo brothers area.
Area MP Wavinya Ndeti over the weekend threatened to move to court over the demolitions.