300 families evicted in Upper Hill land row

July 11, 2012 2:05 pm
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Most of the people living in the demolished houses worked in government departments largely at the neighboring Kenya Medical Training College/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11- More than 300 families were rendered homeless Wednesday morning after bulldozers brought down several houses previously owned by the government in Upper Hill, Nairobi

Most of the people living in the demolished houses worked in government departments largely at the neighboring Kenya Medical Training College.

They say that a private developer brought in police a few minutes before 7am to conduct the demolitions.

“I have lived here since 1999 well in the know that this is government land. I was walking to the bathroom wrapped in a towel when I saw them and I ran back to inform my neighbours,” said a resident who only wished to be identified as Mary.

“We pleaded with them not to destroy our belongings but some of the people were caught up still salvaging their items,” Mary added.

Police who numbered about 100 deployed to oversee the demolition said a private developer obtained orders to evict those on the land and sought security from the law enforcers.

The families affected however, claimed they were not given adequate notice to vacate the premises before the bulldozers descended on them at dawn.

“We are civil servants and there is a channel of communication, if they were to give us notices to vacate am sure nobody would have resisted because we do not own the land,” said another resident Sarah.

The residents, some of whom had erected their own semi-permanent timber houses. were more at a loss trying to collect the broken timber pieces and scattered iron sheets as they relocated.

Babies were forced to spend a cold morning outside as their parents salvaged the little they could following the indiscriminate demolitions.

The private developer is said to have acquired the Court Order in 2003 to evict all those who had settled on the land.

Sources at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) who claimed the land belonged to the college indicated the institution will seek alternative arrangements for its affected staff as the matter is handled through the right channels.

A list of staff members was drawn later in the day so as to help in the planning for alternative settlement for the homeless families.

KMTC director was not available for comment as he was said to have been in a board meeting.

Capital FM News could not establish if the demolitions were part of the agenda of the meeting.

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