NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 18 – Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has called for humane treatment of innocent victims of ongoing demolitions orchestrated by the Nairobi Regeneration Team.
Speaking when he attended a sitting between the National Assembly Committee on Environment and owners of 287 houses in the now-condemned Seefar Apartments that are to be brought down next month, Sakaja advised that this must be done in a sober way.
However, Sakaja says there is need to review the strategy as it flies across the face of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda which among others, seeks to ensure the ordinary Kenyan has access to affordable housing.
“The common mwananchi is being rendered homeless yet one of the Big Four agenda is to create housing; that is an oxymoron, that is hypocritical and that is speaking from both sides of the mouth.”
“I am asking the regeneration team, I am asking the ministry, I am asking the government to take a more pragmatic approach; there are better ways that we can address this. It is not fair for someone who has saved their life earning to try and get a mortgage. We are talking about affordable housing yet we are denying people the housing that they already have,” he said as he assured the residents that all will be well after he held talks with Water Resources Management Authority and National Environment Management Authority chiefs.
The Nairobi Senator appealed to the State to ensure those being evicted and whose buildings are being demolished are not victims of corrupt individuals.
“In as much as we want to conserve the environment in Nairobi, we are seeing that at some point it is as if the interests of our people are being put at the back burner. We cannot have a situation, where we forget to see humanity, even as we are trying to save the environment, because we are saving the environment for the people.”
“It is very unfair for government to come later where the same government – because the government exists in perpetuity, even if it is not the current officials who were there before, who actually gave those permits and allowed people to building up premises- to come and punish the second and third generation of buyers, that will not happen,” Sakaja stated.
WRMA and NEMA in August said over 4,000 buildings are earmarked for demolition to make way for restoration of the riparian reserve.