In the Name of Humanity, Spare Homes from Demolitions.

Over a decade ago, our village market, Ikutha market in Kitui South had an older version. Those days, school ended at 1pm so I used to accompany my parents to the market on Mondays because there was nobody to be left with at home and there were monkeys that often stole children.

My aunt had a shop at the market which was a cherished gathering spot for our extended family from my mother\’s side, offering respite to our grandparents, uncles, aunts, and close neighbors. We\’d store our belongings there, escaping the midday heat. Her tall kerosene powered Coca-Cola fridge provided refreshing drinks, often for free and it\’s one of the places where I got introduced to Fanta Orange.

However, a moment arrived when the county council decided to overhaul and rebuild the market. They issued an early notice, instructing everyone to pack up and reorganize their lives. While the sudden change surprised many, they appreciated the council\’s considerate approach, ample notification, and time to prepare.

As my aunt began her transition, our extended family felt a loss. My younger self could only wonder how long it would be before another market emerged, where I could once again find toy guns, be bought cassava, and savor the taste of Fanta Orange.

Within a short time, she efficiently relocated the entire shop, through a meticulous demolition that separated bricks from cement. Every item, from the Coca-Cola fridge to the bricks and iron sheets, was transported home seamlessly. Everyone else did. This organized approach ensured a smooth transition and repurposing of every property.


This contrasts sharply with recent developments in Kenya, where the government appears to lack genuine concern for its citizens\’ welfare.

We\’ve recently seen numerous devastating building demolitions across various regimes. The latest incident occurred yesterday in Athi River, Machakos County.

In 2019, Githurai witnessed a significant demolition incident, followed by another in Kariobangi in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic while it was rainy season. These large-scale demolitions left a lasting impact on the affected people, reshaping their livelihoods.

The sudden demolition of a person\’s home has devastating consequences. The anguish of losing everything and rebuilding from scratch is indescribable. It\’s a cruel, inhumane act, akin to terrorism. Those forced to flee at the sound of tractors are just like internally displaced people (IDPs).

In most instances, you find that well, there\’s a court order but people are not well informed and engaged. Even if they are occupying the land unlawfully, that is where their lives are and after all it\’s the property of their government.

Despite some reports of individuals withholding notices, the government remains obligated to serve the people\’s interests and prioritize their welfare. This commitment requires meaningful engagement and communication to ensure the well-being of its citizens.

If God wills and you become a prominent person in our society, never bring down people\’s homes in the wee hours of the night without having had a meaningful conversation about their transition and welfare with them. Yours truly I will hold to that because I value dialogue and mutual understanding in management of public affairs.

Even if you become a tractor driver. Go slow when approaching to bring down people\’s living places.

There is a pressing need to unite in condemning the inhumane demolitions, particularly those unfolding in Athi River. A life devoid of essential property is a life that truly lacks meaning. It is crucial that we stand together to denounce these actions and protect the rights and dignity of all individuals involved.

And to you, good people, when considering to purchase land in Kenya, prioritize due diligence. Investigate property titles, survey reports, and local regulations to prevent future complications. Make informed decisions to safeguard your investment. A thorough understanding of the land\’s history ensures a secure and trouble-free future. Exercise caution and diligence for a wise and worry-free land acquisition.

The President has made a commitment to put an end to inhumane demolitions in Kenya. Today, at MuemAction Post, we implore His Excellency to translate his words into concrete actions for the betterment of our nation. It\’s time to ensure the prosperity and well-being of our country by addressing this pressing issue.

The Writer is the Former Secretary General of the Students\’ Association of the Technical University of Kenya

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  1. @Muema, nice, educative article. Just to point out, :Matters land in kenya is so critical. Acquisition of fake Land and titling is largely facilitated by corn, rogue,corrupt public servants in the Ministry of lands. Let the system be cleaned we avoid these hurting incidents.

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