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No, Kinyua didn’t order arrest of officials over city estate demolitions

FACT CHECK
By Hillary Orinde | May 7th 2020

Residents of Kariobangi Sewage Slum Estate ponder their next move after their houses were demolished on May 4, 2020. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Many social media users, including Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen who has 1 million followers on Twitter, have shared a letter which claims the head of public service has ordered for the prosecution of officials involved in the Monday evictions in Kariobangi, Nairobi.

The Fred Matiang’i-led Interior Ministry has, however, dismissed it as fake, asking social media users to disregard it.

"Please disregard this letter circulating on social media purporting to have come from the Head of public service," the ministry posted on Twitter.

The fake letter, purportedly from the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, is addressed to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Inspector General of Police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

"You are hereby directed to commence immediate investigations and prosecution of officials involved in evicting residents of Kariobangi Sewage Slum Estate..." it reads.

The letter, on the presidency letterhead, also wants persons involved in the illegal allocation of the public land and "persons and organisations taking advantage of coronavirus pandemic to extort mwananchi" arrested.

"The directive should be treated wand expedited with urgency," it adds.

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It is still unclear what motives the author(s) of the fake letter had.

Evictions

Residents of Kariobangi Sewage Estate On Monday woke to the sound of bulldozers demolishing their houses.

The demolition was conducted by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company and left over 5,000 families homeless.

The water firm said it was reclaiming land which they claimed belong to them and had been encroached on by the residents.

Many were irked by the exercise as it was carried despite a court order to the contrary. The victims also claim they were given only 24 hours to vacate their premises.

To compound the situation, the thousands of families were thrust into homelessness during a rainy season, and at a time that Nairobi is under movement restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The Kariobangi demolitions came two weeks after the reclamation of 1,600 acres in Ruai that the Government had set aside for the expansion of the Dandora Treatment Plant.

This is an initiative of the Standard Group to combat fake news, misinformation and disinformation. If there’s something you want us to look into, email [email protected]

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