Mukuru slum residents' nine-point manifesto

A man carrying salvaged iron sheets from a demolished site at Mukuru Kwa Njenga. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Residents of the expansive Mukuru slum in Embakasi South Constituency, Nairobi County have devised a nine-point manifesto.

The Mukuru People’s Manifesto consists of nine issues that residents of the three slums of Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Viwandani, and Mukuru Kwa Reuben want to be addressed by incoming leaders in the August 9 General Elections.

First is the Mukuru Special Planning Area (SPA), the largest informal settlement upgrading programme.

It aims to transform a 689-acre slum with some of Nairobi’s severest challenges into a healthy and functioning neighbourhood, improving the lives of the over 100,000 households living there. 

Already, a 10- year citizen-led plan for the SPA has been developed but not approved by the Nairobi County Assembly.

Other issues residents want to be addressed include education, sanitation, water, electricity, health, land, youth and unemployment, and governance.

The manifesto has so far been signed by Members of County Assembly (MCA) candidates in the six wards that have already been cleared by the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to run on August 9, local MPs, Senators, Woman Reps, and Governors both running on Azimio la Umoja, Kenya Kwanza coalition tickets, and Independents.

Rose Asena, a Mukuru community paralegal who was part of the coordinators of the manifesto said despite Igathe’s administration promising to issue title deeds to Nairobi slum residents, there is a need for policies to stop evictions.

‘‘It is not enough to have a title deed without having a policy and programme that protects human beings from being forcefully evicted. The forceful evictions have really eaten in our lives,'' Ms Asena said.

In November 2021, residents of Mukuru slums were evicted from their land and their houses were demolished. 

They are now tasking those who will win elective seats to commit to pushing the National Land Commission (NLC) and the Ministry of Lands to have land in Mukuru declared as public. This will enable proper upgrading, support passing, approval, and implementation of the SPA in their various assemblies.

Nairobi County governor candidate on Jubilee ticket Polycarp Igathe and his running mate Prof. Philip Kaloki promised to implement the issues raised in the manifesto once elected.

‘‘The issues you have raised fit very well with our manifesto under three pillars of Society, Economy, and Environment (SEE) and therefore we shall work together to ensure they are addressed,’’ said Igathe.