, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – The Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) has criticised the manner in which the ongoing demolition of illegal structures and those near riparian reserves are being carried out, saying the process should be done within the law.
Speaking during a press conference, the ICJ Kenya Chairman Kelvin Mogeni said the team undertaking the exercise deliberately disregarded court orders against demolitions and underscored the need for due process to be followed.
“We support the repossession of illegally and irregularly acquired land but this exercise should be executed within the law,” said Mogeni.
He said ICJ condemns the government’s singular disregard for the rule of law and due process as alleged by some developers but stressed that all illegal structures should be brought down regardless of who owns them.
Four thousand illegal structures are being targeted for demolition with Ukay Centre and Southend mall having been brought down last week.
ICJ Kenya also called on the government to respect and uphold the rule of law in the Mau eviction process.
He said the government should adopt a rights-based approach that upholds the dignity of the people in the exercise.
“We regret however that Kenyans have been subjected to spectacular actions that smirk of knee-jerk reactions and ambush. We call for all those involved to respect those people and act in a humane way while evicting them,” urged Mogeni.
The human rights group advised all property developers who unknowingly purchased illegal land to take legal action against those who sold to them.
So far 4,000 people were evicted during the first phase and 40,000 people are being targeted in the second phase, which Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said should start soon with no compensation for the victims.