Nairobi County bulldozers forcefully evicted Pangani Estate residents for the better part of Monday night, throwing the into the cold as they scampered for safety. Governor Sonko was quick to defend the eviction saying all tenants in the estate had been compensated and served notice to vacate.
In May, the county government paid out Sh28.8 million to 48 house owners in the estate to give room for construction of 1,500 affordable housing units in the next two years. Each tenant was to receive Ksh 600,000 to facilitate the relocation. Pangani Estate is among seven Nairobi estates that are earmarked for redevelopment. The others are Ngong Road phases I and II, Uhuru Estate, New Ngara, Old Ngara, Suna Road, and Jeevanjee.
“The court did not issue any orders restraining us from starting this project since we had served them (tenants) with notices. We have no regrets or apologies to make. However, our offer still stands, and I hereby again repeat myself that all the old tenants shall be the first ones to occupy the new units. They are all landlords in waiting,” said Governor Sonko.
The victims, through a lawyer, sought the help of a high court in an application that was to be heard before Lady Justice Kossy Bor. However, the lawyer set to represent 13 aggrieved tenants failed to appear in court for an inter partes hearing forcing the court to has dismissed an application challenging the proposed development of modern apartments in Pangani estate where City Hall demolished existing houses.
According to Muthoki Makau, a Social Welfare Officer for the Housing Department, Urban Renewal Program several meetings were held to create awareness as part of the public participation process required by law and the tenants were fully compensated by the county government and given time relocate.
“This is a project that started way back 2015 all these tenants were aware of the project,” she said in her affidavit