Amnesty Kenya has written an open letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta asking him to call for a cessation of evictions.
Over five thousand people found themselves homeless in Kariobangi on May 4th after their houses came down under heavy machinery.
Disregarding court orders
The forceful evictions took place in disregard of a court order. The order stopped the demolitions of the homes until the court heard and determined the case.
The move came at the worst possible time. With the coronavirus disease ripping through the country, the demolitions exposed countless people to the virus that transfers from person to person in close contact.
The demolitions also happened at a time when the country is experiencing heavy rains. The rains have so far claimed close to 200 hundred lives across the country.
The forceful, inhumane evictions affected residents of Korogocho market, Kisumu Ndogo and Nyayo village within the Sewerage Kariobangi Informal Settlement.
“Your administration has a constitutional obligation under Article 43 of the constitution to defend socio-economic rights and especially the right to adequate housing and reasonable standards of sanitation.” Part of the Amnesty Kenya letter reads.
“There are rational guidelines on forced evictions. They were not followed. Thousands of Kenyans were not accorded sufficient notice to make alternative arrangements.”
Amnesty Kenya then went ahead to lay down their demands to the President, among them, an end to the current evictions.
Executive order to end demolitions
The letter called on the President to issue an executive order stopping further evictions in Kariobangi North. He would then let the residents rebuild their home until they found alternative settlements.
The body also called on President Kenyatta to instruct national agencies to help with compensating and accommodating the displaced residents.
They also called on him to declare a moratorium on all evictions ‘for 90 days or until the danger we face from the Corona pandemic has passed.’