One of the most advocated guidelines by the government to combat the highly infectious coronavirus is to STAY HOME and observing hygiene. However, the same government is demolishing homes in Kariobangi North and Ruai leaving hundreds of city residents displaced – By Prudence Wanza
This happened despite the state suspending demolitions for the next four months to allow the country shift focus to fight the covid-19 pandemic.
The decision was made on May 8th in a meeting chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and a section of Nairobi leaders.
However, the government chose not to stick by this decision and evicted over 1,500 residents in Ruai who spend nights in cold with heavy rains amidst the Coronavirus crisis facing the country and Nairobi being the epicenter.
Two weeks ago, close to 5,000 residents in Kariobangi North estate were also left homeless after the government demolished the houses they have lived in for almost 12 years.
The donor comes first!
In Ruai the people evicted were living in the disputed 3,000-acre piece of land in Ruai that is meant to pave way for the expansion of the sewerage treatment plant while in Kariobangi the state aimed to repossess the grabbed land belonging to Dandora Estate Waste Sewerage Plant.
It is alleged the government had to proceed with the sewer project for fear that the donors who fund it may pull out, becoming the priority, against the protection of its own people who are already faced with economic hardship.
Nevertheless, the irony is for the state to urge Kenyans to stay home to stop the spread of the disease while evicting its people from their residence whether they legally own the structures or not.
The residents in Ruai had also obtained a court order to stop the demolition of their houses but on Friday night at 10 pm bulldozers arrived at Ruai and ordered people to leave their houses before their houses were flattened.
If indeed Coronavirus is a serious disease to the government then evicting these people should have never crossed the minds of the authorities and government bodies responsible for the demolitions especially at a time of crisis.
Every day the message we get from the Ministry of Health is how we are supposed to avoid crowds, wash hands and eat healthily but Kariobangi and Ruai residents were left to spend cold nights alone with no shelter.
These Kenyans stayed close to each other with no social distance in between them and if coronavirus was anywhere close then we can all guess what is going to happen.
2022 Landcruisers, not bulldozers
Parents and children, mothers, and newborns had nowhere to go, no washing of hands, and barely anything to eat.
Unfortunately, this is going to contribute to bitter and hungry citizens and then we are all going to wonder why we have a lot of insecurity in the city, street children, early pregnancies, rape, domestic violence, crime gangs among other societal problems.
Hopefully, we are going to be able to manage Coronavirus and get back to our normal lives which include politics and obviously the coming general elections in 2022 and our leaders will come knocking on the doors for votes promising to take us to Canaan.
Kariobangi and Ruai residents and Kenyans at large should not forget theses demolitions when our leaders resume the journey to the promised land.