Mutyambai defends police in property demolitions and forcible evictions
Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has defended the police against accusations of carrying out illegal evictions. At the same time, the IG said he would in future clear all eviction exercises to ensure they comply with the law.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental relations that is investigating demolitions in Eastleigh and Pumwani estates in Nairobi, Mutyambai (below) said police officers only maintain law and order during the execution of court orders.
“The role of the police is clearly spelt out in the court order, which is confirmation that adequate notices have been served to the parties concerned,” said the police boss.
The IG told a nine-member panel that no demolition or eviction will in future be carried out unless sanctioned by his office.
“I want to confirm that because of the messy way eviction has been taking place, I’ve issued a new directive to the National Police Service (NPS) that I will have to clear any eviction or demolition. This message has gone to all my formation units in writing through the Kenya Police Service,” Mutyambai said. “Court orders for evictions and demolitions will have to come to me and then I do further consultation with the Office of the Attorney General who will verify again on top of the verification taking place on the ground and advise me.”
The IG’s directive comes days after Interior PS Karanja Kibicho issued similar directives to police to seek his guidance before implementing court orders on demolitions and evictions.
Citing the forcible evictions in Eastleigh and Pumwani areas, Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang said while the police should be guaranteeing law and order, they have been accused of illegal acts during evictions.
“What we are hearing from the affected persons, the police provided lawlessness and disorder,” he said and asked the IG to do an internal inquiry and take action against officers who perpetrated acts of lawlessness and disorder.
Kajwang said the IG, the Lands Cabinet Secretary, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services and the Governor of Nairobi should provide a common position on the ownership of a parcel of land No. 209/6712.
According to the police, the land was set aside for Senior Police quarters.
“The land contains six high-grade houses that were put up by the Kenya Police Service during the colonial period. The units housed senior officers of Eastleigh Police Station which was later moved to its current location Pangani Police Station along Juja Road,” he said.