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Sonko halts demolition of buildings in Nairobi after talks with Uhuru

House demolition in Huruma: Sonko has ordered suspension of all demolitions in Nairobi. Photo/FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 20 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has issued executive orders stopping the demolition of all buildings including those built on disputed parcels of land.

Sonko issued the executive orders on Thursday morning after holding talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta who is out of the country.

Speaking at City Hall after meeting families whose houses have been demolished, Sonko said he has stopped the demolitions including those houses built on road reserves and those sitting on Kenya Power line reserves.

“I have today declared that no more buildings will demolished until after the festive season is over. We cannot make families in Nairobi homeless during the festive season when everyone is expecting us to give them peace and a conducive environment for the holidays,” said Sonko while addressing some of the families displaced by the demolitions in Kayole.

Dozens of the displaced families from Kayole, Dandora and Umoja areas who sought refuge at City Hall on Thursday, narrated their plight to the Governor accusing faceless individuals of using the courts to dislodge them from their homes.

One of the victims displaced by the demolitions, David Nyagah has accused private developers of hiding behind the courts to displace land owners from their properties where they have stayed for over 20 years.

“Governor we are appealing to you to get us a temporary place us we challenge the court order that allowed them to demolish our houses. Please seek the intervention of the President to allow us and our families enjoy the festive season,” said Nyagah.

The Governor later toured Kayole area in Embakasi where he forced out bulldozers hired by private developers to demolish the houses built on disputed parcels of land.

He was accompanied by assembly majority leader Abdi Guyo and with some MCAs.

“I don’t want to see the hired bulldozers on site until we resolve this matter. I know the courts approved the demolitions but on grounds of humanity we cannot torture our fellow citizens especially during this festive season. This matter should be done in a humane way and in accordance with the law,” he said while ordering out all earthmovers out of site in Kayole.

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Sonko and President Uhuru Kenyatta are on Friday expected to officially launch construction of low-cost houses by the national government at Park Road area in Pangani. The national government is planning to build 500,000 affordable housing units across the country, while the Nairobi City County Government is scheduled to compliment President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda on housing by constructing 200,000 low-cost houses in the capital.

The project is scheduled to run until 2022 and it’s expected to offer low income earners in Nairobi an opportunity to own houses and at the same time give an opportunity to the county and national government to upgrade informal settlements.


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