3000 Kenyans Staring at Eviction

3000 Kenyans Staring at Eviction

3000 Kenyans Staring at Eviction

In Msambweni, Kwale County, over 3,000  Kenyans face possible eviction from a plot  of land after a private corporation prevailed  in a ten-year legal battle.

Court records state that the business purchased the 57 acres from a shoe firm and  then launched a lawsuit to evict the homeowners who had constructed homes on  the  property.

However, the residents argued that they had inhabited the disputed land from 1938 and therefore urged local politicians to intervene.The private company however won the court case

Now, locals are protesting loudly, claiming that local officials meddled in the legal  proceedings and citing long-standing interests some of them had in the property. The residents have received an eviction notice despite their repeated attempts to  save their homes.

“I have seen the eviction order and this has been decided by the courts. When the order is implemented, it is us the residents, not the politicians who will suffer,” one of the residents stated.In 2022, the residents filed a petition at the County Assembly of Kwale in an attempt to prevail upon MCAs to block the evictions.The residents explained that the shoe company had leased the land for 99 years and was required to establish a factory to create job opportunities for the locals.However, years passed and the company did not build a factory and they sold the land to the private company leading to the current tussle.

The company moved to court to have the residents evicted arguing that it was incurring losses the more the 3,000 individuals occupied the land.”The applicant (the private company) wishes to execute the decree by demolishing and/or pulling down the structures on the suit property and evicting the illegal occupants. He has deposed that the intended exercise is most likely to be met with hostilities, resistance, and possible violence, and requires the police to provide security,” read part of the court documents.

Thousands of residents lost their homes in 2023 as a result of demolitions following court case losses, including the impacted residents. Following a directive from President William Ruto, bulldozers entered the Kenyan-owned East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) site in Athi River in October, leaving the occupants counting their losses.

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