Residents vow not to vacate Kirima land

Chokaa, Mihang'o and Njiru where the court ruled that illegal inhabitants must vacate by December 31, 2023. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Residents facing eviction in Njiru, Nairobi, have vowed to fight back.

Led by Kasarani MP Ronald Karauri, they said they will explore all possible means to remain on the land stretching on both sides of the Kangundo Road, which the court ruled belongs to the late Starehe MP Gerishon Kirima.

The disputed land touches three constituencies, Kasarani, Embakasi East and Embakasi Central.

Among the options they are exploring include ignoring the ruling that declared them illegal occupiers, filing an appeal in court and negotiating with the Kirima family with a view to entering into an amicable agreement.

While promising to explore the possibilities, Karauri assured the residents that no houses will be demolished. 

“I have come here today to tell you the truth, and not play politics. We shall appeal because many residents are affected by this judgement and if such eviction is to happen, let it come from the Court of Appeal, but let all Kenyans know that no structure will be demolished,” said the MP as he faulted the ruling delivered by Justice Samson Okong’o.

He accused the government of being part of the problem since some officials facilitated people to acquire and develop the parcels of land they are living on.

“We want to know how Kirima got the land. We have information it was acquired illegally,” claimed the lawmaker yesterday during a meeting with the residents.

The residents fear that should the government go ahead and evict them, they risk losing millions in investments. They appealed to President William Ruto not to allow any demolition as happened recently in Mavoko, Machakos, where hundreds were left homeless after their houses on land belonging to the East African Portland Cement company were pulled down.

According to Anthony Wafula, they will fight attempts to remove them from the land where they have lived for more than a decade.

“We have stayed here in peace doing business, and we don’t want to hear about eviction. The ruling, which we shall appeal, was biased and in bad faith,” said Wafula.

Wondering how Kirima came to possess the land, the man claimed the land was an animal corridor.

“We demand that investigations be done afresh to know who sold him the land,” he added.

Njiru MCA Carrington Heho assured the residents that no one will be evicted since none of them found themselves on the land by accident.

“Today, the economy is bad and people are suffering. Dwellers have put their savings and pensions here. It will be disgraceful, hurtful and ungodly to evict people at this time when El Nino is looming. We will not allow demolitions to happen here,” he said.

Chairman of the Highlife Residents Association Ken Onyango called for a peaceful settlement. “We need to negotiate with the rightful owner of this land and not the administrators of the late Kirima estate so that the residents get justice.”