Forced Evictions: Havoc and Horror during the Pandemic

When the government tells people to stay at home because of the virus and not go out during the curfew, how can it then throw people out of their homes? What are  people supposed to do?

With all eyes on Covid-19 in Kenya, all sorts of injustices against the weak have been made possible.

On 23rd May 2020, over 200 families in Utange Village, Shanzu, Mombasa County were forcefully evicted from their homes when their houses were demolished by the Police with hired goons. They were driven out of a piece of land which they have been living on for more than 30 years. Out in the cold, huddling together, nobody could be more at risk of contracting the coronavirus….

 

 

This land ownership dispute has been in existence for a while now with the residents suffering police harassment, demolition, and forced evictions on the 9th of March. The residents fought the eviction while putting up temporary houses for themselves.

The residents assert they never received any notice to move before the violent evictions began. According to the residents, a ‘rich individual’ has laid claim to the piece of land, but has no genuine Title Deed to show for it.

When the residents went to Court for the first time, the Court issued orders stopping the forced evictions. The affected families are now baffled as to why the Court Orders have not been upheld.

IFA advised the families to take action and write a joint petition to the Bamburi Police Station demanding an end to the harassment and violent evictions.

But the signs are ominous. The Kenyan government appears to be making use of the pandemic to wreak havoc and terror on poor populations. In Nairobi, the government ordered bulldozers into Kariobangi informal settlement, demolishing over 600 homes and forcefully evicting at least 5,000 people.

Story by  IFA Coast Team

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