Wiper Party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka and Machakos Governor, Wavinya Ndeti have reacted angrily to the ongoing demolitions of homes in the controversial East Africa Portland Cement land in Athiriver, Machakos County.
The two leaders, who hosted the clergy for prayers at the governor’s office in Machakos on Saturday also demanded an immediate stoppage of the demolitions and urged the concerned Government agencies to stop eviction of the squatters from the said land on humanitarian grounds.
On Friday, bulldozers descended on dozens of homes at ‘Aimi ma Lukenya’ settlement scheme in Mavoko Constituency and demolished them in full glare of owners.
On October 9th 2023, the Environment and Land Court in Machakos struck out a court case that had been filed by ‘Aimi ma Lukenya’, who have been laying claim on the prime land measuring 4,298 acres. In her ruling, Lady Justice A Nyukuri noted that Aimi Ma Likenya had failed to serve their own documents to the defendants as ordered by the court.
But Wavinya furiously condemned the demolition, terming it State brutality and a serious affront to the rights of the affected people.
“It was shocking that Government security agencies proceeded with the demolitions of homes without issuing any notice to the affected people as the law requires. It is particularly disappointing that the process was unnecessarily rushed despite the fact that there were ongoing high-level discussions between me and President William Ruto on the matter,” she said.
I am deeply aggrieved after witnessing the suffering of the dozens of Machakos residents, whose homes were demolished yesterday by East Africa Portland Company Limited under the supervision of the Kenya Police and the General Service Unit (GSU).
I condemn in the strongest terms… pic.twitter.com/T94ELtWAbL
— Wavinya Ndeti Oduwole (@Wavinya_Ndeti) October 14, 2023
At one point the governor shed tears as she addressed the audience, lamenting why President Ruto had forsaken the Akamba community in their hour of need.
“It’s shocking that government security agencies proceeded with the demolitions of homes without issuing any notice to the affected people as the law requires. It is partially disappointing that the process was unnecessarily rushed despite the fact that there were ongoing high-level discussions between the President and I on the matter” an emotional Wavinya said.
Wavinya vowed to challenge the High Court ruling, saying the County Government was not involved in the litigation yet it was a key stakeholder in the ownership row.
“I have instructed our lawyers through the office of the County Attorney to have the orders striking out the suit reversed through an appeal. I have also instructed the office of the County Attorney to ensure that the County Government of Machakos is enjoined as an interested party in the suit,” Governor Wavinya said.
Her sentiments were echoed by Kalonzo, who criticized the court ruling on the dispute, terming it a serious miscarriage of justice.
“The judge was ordered by the executive to strike out the application that was before her but instead she struck out the entire case. That does not happen. That is a serious miscarriage of justice. We don’t understand where the orders for the demolitions came from,” said Kalonzo, arguing that a written notice must have been issued.
Kalonzo demanded that the demolitions be stopped forthwith.
“What is happening must stop now. Land is devolved. When the lease for the East Africa Portland Cement ran out, the land reverted to Machakos County Government. You cannot therefore conduct any business on matters of land without involving the governor of Machakos,” said Kalonzo.