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ODM lawmakers accuse Kibicho of city evictions

By Anthony Mwangi
Friday, April 9th, 2021
ODM MPs Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare) and Zulekha Hassan (Kwale) after they addressed the media in Parliament yesterday. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI
In summary

Members of Parliament (MPs) allied to the Orange Democratic Movement have for the second time accused Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho of being behind the recent eviction of thousands of people in Nairobi’s Njiru and Kariobangi areas.

Yesterday, MPs T.J Kajwang (Ruaraka), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Zulekha Hassan (Kwale), Babu Owino (Embakasi East) and Justus Kizito (Shinyalu)  threatened to lead thousands of evictees in Njiru back to their land.

They were joined by Jubilee’s Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani).

“We want to know from the Interior Ministry who exactly ordered the demolitions after the government had assured that there would be no more evictions,” said Kajwang.

The Ruaraka MP said they have information that Kibicho authorised the eviction of the over 5,000 people in Njiru area without giving notice as required in law.

“We want to know who owns this land and why evictions became necessary at this difficult time and why the people were not given notice to move,” Kajwang said.

Out of touch

He said the evictions were a clear indication that Kenyans were dealing with a government or elements who are either completely out of touch with what Kenyans are going through or simply do not care.

“As elected leaders, unlike the civil servants who hide behind juniors to execute these insane and insensitive orders.

We do not and will not take these actions lightly,” warned the lawmakers.

Oluoch warned that in future, local leaders will mobilise people to defy whoever is making these otherwise illegal orders.

The Mathare MP said that ODM ideologies include championing for human rights and cannot run away from this just because of a part time political arrangement.

“Forced eviction is against the tenets of human rights. There must be reparations to the affected people,” Oluoch said.

 Last month the ODM issued an ultimatum to President Uhuru Kenyatta to remove Kibicho from the Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI) campaign programmes or risk scuttling the referendum plans.

Senate Minority Leader James Orengo threw the first salvo accusing Kibicho of being the stumbling block to the Handshake and the BBI.

Hijacking BBI process

Minority Whip in the National Assembly Junet Mohamed, also joined in and accused the powerful PS of hijacking the BBI secretariat and sabotaging it.

“If he must continue meddling in the work of the secretariat if he must continue dictating how we do the work, if he is that indispensable, we will be left with no choice but to abandon BBI,” Junet said then.

The affected families in Njiru said they did not know who to turn to for help as police officers who are supposed to protect them watched from a distance as the bulldozers demolished what was once a home to many families.

In May last year, about 5,000 residents of Kariobangi North were left homeless after the government flattened their homes to repossess grabbed land in Dandora Estate.