A report by NTV on Saturday, April 3, indicated that the residents of Buxton Estate in Mombasa have petitioned the Senate to intervene and stop their eviction.
In the petition, the victims argue that they were not involved in the discussions aimed at converting the 14-acre land into an affordable housing site.
They further claimed that they were not properly compensated before evictions and demolitions were carried out on some of the houses.
“The residents have previously sought the intervention of the Mombasa County Assembly and courts in a bid to stop the demolitions, but there has been no response from the County Assembly, and the courts dismissed their application for an injunction,” Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka announced to the house.
Several Senators who took the floor sided with the petitioners and directed the Senate Committee on Transport and Infrastructure to investigate the matter in 60 days and report back its findings for further direction.
“The issue of regeneration and redevelopment of old estates is a good one, the problem is that it is the mystery around the redevelopment and the eventual disenfranchising of people and families that have lived in this estate for years that is worrying,” argued Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula.
“We must investigate why a court cannot find it warranted to issue an injunction. The court is issuing injunctions over everything including that the President should not ascend to BBI (Building Bridges Initiative), but they cannot issue injunctions to stop ordinary Kenyans from being evicted,” stated Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo.
Uhuru is expected to oversee the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ksh6 billion Buxton Project in Mombasa County on May 1 despite the rejection of the project by a section of Mombasa politicians.
According to Housing and Urban Development PS Charles Hinga and Head of Presidential Delivery Unit Andrew Wakahiuthe, the project had already been approved by the Head of State.
This came after the Environment and Land Court in Mombasa County dismissed an application by residents who sought to restrain the county government from demolishing houses in the estate.
The Buxton project was launched by Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and was among 10 estates targeted for demolition to pave way for the construction of 1900 new housing units by the government.
In early March, 500 families were evicted from the estate and their houses demolished giving them minimum time to save their household items.
Household items were left scattered everywhere as families prowled the scene in an attempt to salvage their properties.
The demolitions came after unknown individuals cut off the water supply in a bid to force them to move out. Some of the families are yet to be compensated for the demolitions.