Kilifi county and by extension the coast region has witnessed innumerable evictions right from independence.
From Mtwapa to Kinagoni on the border with Tana River, Kilifi residents have been forced in some instances to spend several nights in the cold after the powerful and mighty descend on the land they call home with bulldozers.
The latest being the 339 acres land Kadzuhoni eviction where over 3000 residents were rendered homeless when the village was demolished on Saturday.
The Kadzuhoni eviction
According to the developer’s representative Sheikh Noor Mohamed, the residents were given 45 days to vacate the land according to the order.
“We added 49 days to the 45 so that they can vacate. We were also willing to provide an alternative land with titles,” said Mohamed.
Like in many evictions where demolitions are executed through court orders, residents normally get a copy of the ruling and the eviction order.
When things get to this point, residents turn to their leaders for help.
It is sad however that leaders fail to take action until bulldozers roar over the hopeless people’s houses
Late last year, a whole village at Mwendo wa panya in Kanamai was brought down after the residents who claim ownership of the land lost a case against a tycoon.
The case has been in court for over 10 years. The leaders were very much aware but save for the area MCA Victor Mwaganda who spent the whole night trying to avert the demolition, other leaders came when the demolition was 95 percent complete.
The same thing happened in Shariani and Kijijini in Mtwapa.
Today, leaders managed to secure stay orders granted by Malindi High Court pending interparty hearing on 29th July. Why couldn’t the leaders seek such orders before the execution of the eviction orders?
Kilifi governor Amason Kingi when he visited the area during the demolition on Saturday told residents the tycoon obtained the title deed through unscrupulous means. Here is the Video
If indeed this is true, why couldn’t he get an injunction and appeal the ruling before the elapse of the 45 days stipulated in the order?
The governor is in record saying leaders from the region are partly to blame for the land woes bedeviling the region.
The governor cited disunity as the key driver to the endless land problems.
“When I was elected the governor I expected we would sit as the governors from the coast region and discuss how to tackle this menace. This has never happened. Every governor is handing the issue in his own way but there is no concerted effort from all of us,” said Kingi when he hosted MPs from the coast region at sun n sand last year.
According to the court bailiff there are over 20 pending evictions in Kilifi County, most of them being in Kilifi south.
No more evictions
During the Madaraka day celebrations at Karisa Maitha grounds on June 1st this year, Kilifi county commissioner Magu Mutindika made a pronouncement that there will be no eviction that will be carried out in Kilifi County without involving the area leadership.
Kingi affirmed that they had a conversation with the county commissioner and said no such evictions will be witnessed in Kilifi.
If this was anything to go by then it is evident the leaders were aware of the Kadzuhoni demolition even before it was highlighted in the media. They could stop it if they wanted but it was unfortunate people are now sleeping in tents
This should be a wakeup call to our leaders to be proactive instead of reactive.
As the leaders are battling the Kadzuhoni land issue in court, let them think of the other impending eviction and plan how to handle them too. Chakama is a time bomb.