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Families Spend Nights In The Cold After County Bulldozers Demolish Their Homes.

Virginia Wanjiru narrating her ordeal to the press outside her demolished house.
The joy of having their roads upgraded by Murang’a County Government turned into tears and suffering for a number of families who were left to spend about three nights in the cold after the county bulldozers demolished their residential houses in Nguruwa-ini, Rwanganga Village in Kahumbu Ward, Kigumo Constituency.

The victims, who include women and children, were not even allowed to take out their basic belongings before the houses were tore down by these powerful machines. They claim that they had no prior information that they had encroached on road reserve and their pleas for time to safely remove their belongings fell on deaf ears as the bulldozer driver ignored them and went ahead to demolish the houses. The families faulted the move saying they were not given demolition notice nor time to seek alternative place to live.

After the operation that lasted more than two hours was over, the authorities went away, leaving in their wake a trail of destruction and a number of unanswered questions. In all, 5 homesteads were demolished throwing at least 7 families in the cold. Disfigured structures, twisted iron sheets and scattered household goods littered the village.

Sad faces of men, women and children who have been dispossessed and displaced greeted us visitors to the village. Their countenance bespoke volumes about siege and intimidation they endured in the hands of authorities.

Speaking to the press, one of the victims who resided in one of the demolished houses expressed her furry blaming their area MCA Eric Kamande and Governor Mwangi Wa Iria for their mess.

“Who do we turn to now if the same leaders that we expect to protect us are the same ones that are messing us up? Since the 20th (of this month), I have been spending the nights in the cold with my grandchildren. Some of my belongings were destroyed when the wall of my house fell on them,” said 80 year old Virginia Wanjiru.

She claims that the bulldozer was under the instruction of their MCA to clear the rubble on the ward’s access roads.

Francis Muchoki Kamau, who claims to have settled in his current hose in 1970, is also counting losses after his house was damaged in the process. He alleges foul play or malice in the exercise as he believes that the authorities erred in the reading of their plans as his house was not on the road reserve.

He says that he received a phone call from a distraught neighbour at around 11 in the morning asking him to leave a burial ceremony he had attended in order to attend an emergency at home. On arrival, he found his house severely damaged from the impact of the bulldozer’s demolition.
Wanton destruction of property as witnessed by our visit to the area.

His 2-bedroomed house developed cracks on the walls, rendering it dangerous to for human habitation. He adds that his sty was pulled down and in the process, breaking the leg of one of his pigs. Muchoki also lost his cow pen, his pit latrine as well as having his banana plants and trees were uprooted in the process.

Jane Wambui has God to thank after she managed to rescue her sick son from the house he was sleeping.

“As the bulldozer was clearing this area, I tried to plead with the driver to stop for there was a sick child inside but he could not hear anything of the sort. When he started hitting the house, I risked my life to dash into the house to save my son,” she said.

She appealed to the national government under President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to their rescue.

Their efforts to get help from Kahumbu chief bore no fruits as he directed them to seek the audience of their area MCA.

Efforts to reach the MCA were fruitless as our calls went unanswered.

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