More than 30 members of a family in Wango, Mbeere South in Embu County have been sleeping out in the cold after their houses were demolished on Tuesday in a land row.
The 11 permanent houses belonging to the late Mweu Mulwa’s four sons, a daughter and their children and grandchildren were brought down by youths hired by Quickline Auctioneers and supervised by police and an assistant chief.
According to one of the family’s son Munyoki Mweu the family has been living on the land parcel no 563 in the Wachoro Adjudication Section all their lives and even buried their kin there.
Musyoki says they were not aware of any eviction orders.
Monicah Nzilani, a family member, said she lost her property and her stock of foodstuff during the demolition and has now been rendered destitute.
“Our children sleep out in the cold yet we live next to River Tana. We are exposed to mosquito bites and risks of attacks from hippos and crocodiles. We have nowhere else to call home,” an emotional Njilani said.
The Standard has learnt that during the 1978 adjudication, a Mr Kariuki Njine was allocated the land parcel Mweu’s family resides on.
Mweu was not issued with any other land and his family continued to live there, but in 2014, Wang’uru Magistrate Courts ordered them to vacate from the land.
The judgement was delivered in the family’s absence as they claim they were not served.
In February this year, Wang’uru Principal Magistrate D Nyaboke ordered for the demolishing of the family’s houses and their forceful eviction.
Their houses were demolished 10 days after the eviction order was issued.
Mwea council of elder’s chairman Sila Mwaniki said in the 1978 adjudication there were cases of double allocations and many deserving people being left out.
“Which court order allows destruction of property and effecting families with an eviction? We want the government to intervene and find an alternative land to issue to the landlord so that Mweu’s family can continue to live here. We also want a review of the adjudication for the sake of those who missed out,” he said.
A government administrator who requested anonymity said there were about 1,200 land parcels with case disputes similar to that of the Mweus.
The government administrator added that senior national administration officials had instructed them not to allow evictions until a committee is formed to review the adjudication through a public participation process.
“Mweu’s family know the land as their only home. They have developed it and even buried their kin there. We couldn’t allow their eviction were it not for the court eviction order, which we have to obey,” he said.