BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,30TH JUNE,2022, – Deputy President William Ruto has vowed to “end all unauthorized evictions and property demolitions” if he clinches the Presidency in the August polls.
The Kenya Kwanza Alliance leader who unveiled his manifesto on Thursday regretted “that the kind of spectacle” that has been seen in previous demolitions carried out in the country “is inhumane, unconstitutional and should never be allowed to happen again”.
While citing the 2020 Kariobangi evictions which were carried out by the government, Ruto said he would not sanction such demolitions at the expense of the livelihoods of Kenyans.
“We will not allow such illegal demolitions including those that do not follow due process,” he said adding that on legal demolitions his administration will “provide enough notice and provide compensation where necessary”.
Ruto stressed that his administration will be intentional on strengthening the rule of law and ensuring respect for human rights.
The government in 2020 conducted forced evictions in Nairobi’s two informal settlement in Kariobangi and in Ruai amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and curfew.
In the Kariobangi evictions, close to over 7, 000 people were rendered homeless despite a court order that ordered a halt of the evictions.
On 15 May, 2020 the government also conducted a second round of forced evictions in Ruai where more than 1, 000 people were also rendered homeless.
At the time while the authorities were enforcing the dusk-to-dawn curfew that required people to stay home, the government failed to provide alternative housing for the affected people.
In the two evictions, authorities claimed that verbal notices were given two days prior.
Kenya’s 2009 Evictions and Resettlement Guidelines require notice to be written or published in the official government gazette 90 days ahead of time.
The United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-Based Evictions and Displacement provides that evictions should be carried out in a manner that respects the rights of those affected, particularly women, children, older persons, and people with disabilities.
The guidliness also stipulate the evictions should not be carried out at night and that the evictees should be given a chance to salvage their personal belongings.