, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – A family whose house was burnt Friday night in Nairobi’s South B suburb is asking the police to investigate students at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) who it alleges torched their house.
Lilian Achieng, one of the family members told Capital FM News that the row began earlier this year after the County Government of Nairobi marked a kiosk allegedly belonging to the college’s student leader for demolition.
“The kiosk was erected right outside our house but on the road reserve. The city council marked it for demolition,” Achieng recalled.
When Capital FM News requested for an interview, Achieng and her family were hiding due to fear of being attacked.
She said they had been warned that they would be killed on claims that the family was behind the demolition of the kiosk allegedly owned by the student leader.
Achieng received a phone call on Friday at 3am.
“My mother called me. She told me they could hear the bulldozers coming. I told them you have to hurry up. Just pick the documents and leave immediately. My dad is unwell he had to be pulled out, they ran out with my sister and brother.”
“As they were leaving, they saw students pulling down our fence. In few minutes something was thrown on our roof. The house then exploded,” she explained.
Achieng and her parents made several calls asking police to intervene.
She was agitated that despite the family reporting that their lives were in danger, the local police post in the area did not intervene to protect the family.
“Our house has now been burnt, we feel insecure. We are now hiding because we have been threatened that we will be killed if that kiosk is pulled down. Now it has happened and we are not safe,” she said.
Achieng wondered how students who come to the school and stay for only four years would contravene the law to displace people who had settled in areas around KIMC for decades.
“We have lived in that house for over 15 years. We have our title deeds for the land. The kiosk was demolished because it was on a road reserve, but this anger has now been directed to us. My family is now homeless and scared for their lives,” she said.
She appealed to the government to intervene to investigate those behind the arson.
The row saw KIMC students holding demonstrations earlier in the week and according to Achieng, the student leader mobilised them to hold the demonstrations to protest demolition of the kiosk he owns.