I was deeply distressed by the recent demolition of residential houses around the Syokimau area adjoining Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
While we are all conscious of the risk that a terrorist threat poses to a country’s international airport, I have a general feeling that this exercise could have been done differently.
That the government waited for its citizens to buy land, erect palatial homes at great expense, only to bring in excavators to bring them down borders on sadism.
Kenya is blessed with a citizenry that is entrepreneurial. It is perhaps Kenya’s biggest single asset.
The same, however, has not been nurtured by the State, so this remarkable attributes have not been matched by an enabling environment and corresponding services from the government.
In Ongata Rongai, for example, Kenyans have literally built a mini-city with precious little support from government.
The sole tarmac road has for long been mercifully maintained by a private company, Magadi Soda. There is no sewer, no park, no government hospital, no nothing.
That the government has sat back and ignored the needs of such highly industrious citizens is depressing.
That the same government that has failed its citizens on housing has unilaterally gone and demolished privately developed homes is a catastrophe of unmitigated proportions. It has no moral right to do so.
More homes, this time belonging to the middle class, have been destroyed at Syokimau, Nairobi.
I do not know when the government will listen to people but the buck stops at State House. All the home owners got all the necessary approvals from state agencies.
So, if the government agencies are dysfunctional, is it the people that should suffer? Only an illegitimate government operates in that manner.
The flattening of residential houses in Syokimau was a sad and painful experience.
To see such magnificent buildings that must have cost their owners huge sums brought down within minutes is unbelievable.
What one wonders is why the government should wait until people have erected such houses then bring them down. Why not stop people before they build?
It would also be fair to give such owners notice rather than ambushing them. Some human face is required in such situations.
Yet again people’s investments were brought down under the government’s watch.
So many families were left stranded and spent the night in the cold following the demolitions that began on Friday under tight security.
In some instances, the owners of the palatial buildings could not bear the pain as they watched their investments worth millions of shillings being brought down.
As much as we welcome the move to pave way for expansion of the transport sector, this was not the right way to go.
The owners have legal documents to own the property. These documents were issued by the same government that endorsed the demolitions.
It is so disappointing to see fellow Kenyans in Syokimau lose millions of shillings, thanks to the government.
The buildings demolished belong to young hard-working Kenyans.
The huge loss and pain arising from demolitions of Syokimau houses cannot be over-emphasised.
It is a fatal wrong that should not have been allowed to take such a form and proportion.
Consumers Federation of Kenya
It is utterly painful for one’s investment to be destroyed within minutes. Somebody somewhere must take responsibility.