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Starehe residents brace for eviction

By Amina Wako December 30th, 2020 2 min read

More than 300 families in Starehe could lose their homes in a demolition exercise set to take place.

The removal of these families residing in government housing units is meant to pave way for the phase two of the Affordable Housing Programme.

On Monday, Kenya Power disconnected electricity from the houses in a bid to hasten the demolition process.

The residents are however crying foul saying that the decision to evict them has shocked them.

According to the residents, they had an agreement with the government to have the demolitions happen next year in March after their children had sat for KCSCE and KCPE. examinations.

“I had a meeting with the Ombudsman, and it was chaired by Madam Florence Kajuju and the Housing Secretary Patrick Bucha. We agreed in that meeting that Bucha would go and consult with his senior that these school-going children wapewe around 3-4 months wamalize masomo halafu other things zifanyike baadaye,” claimed Adam Katana, the Chairman of Starehe Residents Association.

The residents say the government’s move to demolish the houses at this moment during the coronavirus pandemic is cruel.

The Government is however keen on ensuring the housing upgrade project takes off in January.

In 2014, the tenants had sued to stop their eviction, but their suit was thrown out by Justice Mativo in 2018.

And in June last year, the tenants were again ordered to vacate the houses by July 30. They sued again.

However, Justice James Makau found the issues raised by the tenants were similar to those raised in their 2014 petition.

The judge in his ruling allowed preliminary objections by the Attorney General and the City Hall against the petition.

In August, the High Court struck out a second petition challenging evictions in Starehe and Shauri Moyo for the Affordable Housing project.

On December 4, Housing PS Charles Hinga said 21,000 acres had been set aside for phase two of the project in Starehe, Shauri Moyo in Nairobi and Athi River.