Hundreds of families from Mkwakwani village in Ukunda, Kwale County were Tuesday evicted from their houses after bulldozers hired by a private developer demolished their structures.
Property of unknown value was destroyed in the process with the affected residents claiming they were not served with an eviction notice.
According to the residents the developer identified only as Mr. Nasoro bought a neighbouring piece of land but later extended to the area they have been living on.
One of the victims of the eviction, Ndaro Mzungu, said he watched helplessly as his house was reduced to rubble.
All my belongings are under the ruins as I couldn’t salvage anything when the demolition squad descended on our homes bringing them down mercilessly, a distraught Ndaro, said.
Residents accused the developer of taking advantage of the owner, Hamisi Nazuri, now deceased, to lay claim on their land located next to Msikiti Nuru area.
He used trickery to encroach on our land which was not part of the deal with the deceased and he now wants to disposes us of what is rightfully ours, said Joseph Mwambi, questioning why the eviction was carried out without warning.
But according to a police report, the disputed land was a subject of court case for 16 years between Nazuri and Nasoro who finally won the case.
County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo said the residents were served with an eviction order but upon refusal to vacate the land, Nasoro went back to court and was granted permission to evict them.
He added the court gave the residents an order to vacate the plot within 45 days on their own but they refused.
Nasoro went back to court and was allowed to demolish the houses under the supervision of the Diani OCS who was to provide security, he added.
The residents are now calling on the government to intervene and help them reclaim their land.
Source: Kenya News Agency