Over 1,700 Kibera slum dwellers have protested bitterly in court over a move to bar them from balloting to move into the hundreds of upgraded houses whose construction is sponsored by the Government and the United Nations -Habittat Mission.
Angry residents caused a stampede outside the Milimani High Court Nairobi when they blasted a lawyer for filing documents in opposition to the decision by the government to carry out a ballot to pick the first beneficiaries of the already 624 completed housing units.
“We have waited for over 10 years for these houses to be completed. Now we feel betrayed by the lawyer who has filed a document in court to block the move by the PS Lands, Housing and Urban Development to carry out a ballot to pick the first batch of beneficiaries of the project that has cost the government billions of shillings,” a protester Mary Wanjiru Nderitu complained.
She could not contain her anger and she went on a shouting spree threatening to tear her clothes outside court.
It took lawyer Paul Amuga over 20 minutes to cool down the angry members who had turned up in court to follow the proceedings.
“Listen to me carefully. Anger wont help us at this stage. The lawyer for the petitioners filed written submissions today when we were in court and I sought for 14 days to answer his averments. I will do so and we shall proceed. The judge has given us priority and listed the case for hearing December 3, 2015,”Mr Amuga explained to the angry slum dwellers.
Grab housing units
Mr Amuga tried to pacify them but they could not hold their fury as they went on chasing away suspected supporters of ward representative whom they accused of attempting to grab four housing units.
They also protested against a Mr David Ngige Tharau whom they accused of interfering with the balloting programme yet he was not a member of the Soweto East “A” Housing Co-Operative Society Limited which has a membership of 1,766.
Mr Tharau through lawyer Samuel Kandere accuses of the PS of unilaterally purporting to issue a notice for “ intended balloting of the completed units in Soweto Kibera under the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme (Kensup) for purposes of allocation and reallocation.”
Mr Tharau is asking the court to stop the process saying “ its meant to benefit strangers to the detriment of the genuine slum dwellers.”
But the 1,766 slum dwellers allege that Mr Tharau is not a paid up member of the Soweto East “A” Housing Cooperative Society Limited whose chairman is Mr Jack Onyango Otieno.
Mr Otieno, in an affidavit filed through Mr Amuga says completed units have already been bought by members of the sacco who have already paid 10 per cent of the Sh1,350,000 purchase price of the three bed-roomed low cost modern houses.
Justice Samson Okongo has directed that the case be heard on December 3,2015. He directed the lawyers to put written submissions and responses to resolve the acrimonious suit.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAILY