by the Banana Peddler
Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna on Wednesday morning walked himself into a PR storm when he announced that the government had formed a committee to probe the Ruai and Kariobangi evictions which, ironically, were ordered and carried out by the government.
Oguna’s confusing explanation instantly went viral as many wondered how the government could investigate itself even as Oguna went ahead to give reasons why the government had ordered the evictions in the two areas.
“The Government is very concerned about demolitions in Kariobangi and Ruai that have left hundreds of people homeless. After it happened, the government did form a committee to look why that happened and why it happened at the time it happened. The whole incident is being looked into by the government committee.”
“It must also be known that some of the settlers did have ownership documents such as title deeds. Part of the investigation will look into this because it is known that the land belonged to Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company and had been earmarked for expansion of sewerage services in Nairobi,” Oguna said while speaking to NTV.
The government spokesperson added that the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) was working to provide some of the displaced individuals with face masks and temporary accommodation provisions having been displaced amid the coronavirus and heavy rains that have hit the city.
The United Nations is among local and international stakeholders who have condemned the government’s evictions during the Covid19 crisis.
The new UN special rapporteurs on the right to housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, and on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, said the eviction should have been postponed until the public health crisis was resolved.
“Not only does destroying the homes of thousands of persons without any alternative accommodation constitute a grave violation of their right to housing, but doing so in the current context of a pandemic violates multiple human rights norms and exacerbates its potential impact on the rights to health and life for thousands of Kenyans,” the UN officials said in May.