News Column

Families Lose Homes in Kiambu Demolition

June 19, 2014

James Wainaina

FIFTY families are now homeless after the Kaimbu government demolished their houses at Ali Juja estate.

The homeowners said the county government officials and administration police officers came with bulldozers and pulled down the buildings.

They said the officials told them that the move was because the residents did not have approved plans for their buildings from the county government. The estate is at the border of Juja and Gatundu South constituencies.

The families which spent their night in the cold said their pleas to the county officials to spare their houses fell on deaf ears. They claimed no prior notice of intended demolitions was even given to them.

Joyce Wambui said she has incurred a huge loss as she had taken a loan to construct her house.

"My house was complete and I was in the process of preparing a small opening ceremony. All that has now been reduced to just a dream. I have no words to describe how I am feeling," she said.

Wambui said she spent Sh800,000 to build the house.

She said the money has "gone down the drain".

Shadrack Kinuthia said there is "more than meets the eye" on the demolitions.

He said they have tried to get approval plans for their houses for the last three years from the defunct municipal council and the county government to no avail.

"We are privy to information that several highly placed personalities in the country are behind the demolitions since they want to take up the land. The lack of approval plans is just but a mere scapegoat," Kinuthia said.

Land secretary Eunice Karoki declined to comment on the issue.

She said she was in a meeting.

Juja MP Mr Francis Waititu said the county government should explain why the houses were demolished.

He said lack of the plans is not the main reason.

"I am told the homeowners have been camping at the county offices looking for the approval plans and have not gotten them. They are not to blame for not having the plans," Waititu said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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