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State suspends ongoing demolitions in Nairobi

Mercy Mwai and Alvin Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe

Kenyans can breathe a sigh of relief after the government yesterday halted the ongoing demolitions in the city. In a statement to newsrooms, head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said the government has suspended the demolitions taking place in Nyama Villa Estate in Komarock until further notice.

The demolitions, which started on Monday have since left at least 6,000 people homeless in Kayole after excavators descended on their homes.

“It is notified for the general information of the public that the government has forthwith directed the immediate suspension of all demolition of properties in all parts of the country until further notice,” the statement read.

Kinyua said the government will issue further guidance on the way forward in regards to the demolitions. The circular by Kinyua came hours after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko issued a similar order, and suspended all the demolitions that entered the third day today.

Speaking when he visited the area yesterday morning, Sonko said his decision had been made after consultations with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Sonko toured the area and  forced all the excavators to leave the area immediately. He was accompanied by the county Assembly Minority Leader Abdi Guyo who condemned the demolitions saying the developer should be brought to book.

However, Sonko was not spared from the wrath of the angry residents who faulted him for coming after demolitions had occurred.

In Parliament two Nairobi county MPs Benjamin Gathiru (Embakasi Central) and Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani) asked Uhuru to set up a task force that will bring a long-lasting solution in the demolition as the manner in which the exercise is being carried out will jeopardise a lot of socio-economic activities.

Speaking at a press conference, the leaders  hit out at the government and accused it of being insensitive to the suffering of the Kenyans who have been affected by the demolitions.

According to the MPs there is need for all the leaders to be involved as currently the exercise is being carried out in an insensitive manner.

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