Kenya: Sonko - I Have No Apologies for Pangani Midnight Demolitions

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has said he has no apologies or regrets for Monday night's demolitions in Pangani Estate.

Tenants spent Monday night in the cold after Nairobi County bulldozers descended on their houses to forcefully evict them.

The governor said the redevelopment of the estate should not be politicized.

He argued that all the tenants were paid and some had already moved out.

The few who remained have taken City Hall to court and there was no restraining order issued, Sonko said.

NO RESTRAINING ORDER

"The court did not issue any orders restraining us from starting the project. Since we had served them with notices. We have no regrets or apologies to make," said Sonko on his Facebook page.

According to a resident, the bulldozers arrived at around 11:30pm, breaking up windows and doors while they were asleep.

"The City Hall guys are here and they are demolishing the houses while we are still in with our children. It is scary as they are breaking windows, doors and everything," she told the Nation.

According to the governor, the affordable housing project was supposed to start in 2016 but due to bad leadership and politics nothing happened.

"The tenants were compensated with Sh600,000 to relocate to other areas to pave way for the construction of new 1588 housing units while at the same being given the first priority to acquire and occupy the new houses, once phase one of the project is complete and they've documents to that effect," added Sonko.

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 county government has been embroiled in a tussle with the Pangani residents since last year over the evictions.

The groundbreaking for the planned upgrade at the estate had been scheduled for August 2018.

In May this year, Nairobi County paid out Sh28.8 million to 48 house owners at the estate paving the way for construction of 1,500 affordable housing units in the next two years.

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