Over 256 families left homeless after Eldoret eviction
At least 250 families in Eldoret were on Tuesday evicted after a six-year tussle over county government housing units in the North Rift town.
The families were forced out of their premises at Macharia estate near the 64 stadium in an eviction exercise carried out by a contingent of enforcement officers including the police.
Angry residents, however, claimed they had last month secured a court order stopping the eviction, pending a hearing of a case in which occupants of the county houses are challenging the eviction at the Eldoret Environment and Lands court on September 17.
John Nderitu, a resident in the estate where at least 1000 people live said the county had first ordered residents to vacate in 2013, but locals rushed to court to oppose the orders.
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“County officers had asked occupants to pay Sh800 per month up from the Sh400 they were paying but the occupants resisted the move and challenged it in court,” Nderitu who has lived in the municipal houses for more than 40 years told The Standard.
The village elder said the evictions started at 6 am, noting a notice of eviction had been issued a few weeks ago.
An elderly widow Christine Too said she will spend the night under a tree in the estate after the county declined to seek an alternative residence for the affected.
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Ms Too said she had pleaded with county askaris to allow her to continue living in the house but her pleas fell on deaf hears.
“I don’t have anywhere to go to. I told them (enforcement officers) that I am a poor widow and I had nowhere to resettle but they just told me to get out,” a devastated Too said.
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At some point, the police were forced to use teargas to force out tenants who declined to move out of the old houses.
Uasin Gishu county secretary Edwin Bett whom residents claimed had ordered the evictions defended the exercise, saying the county had secured orders to remove all occupants in the county premises.
“The police were enforcing a court order. It was not the county evicting people,” Bett said.
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