Dear H.E, President Uhuru Kenyatta,
I am deeply concerned of the forced evictions of residents of Dagoretti Corner settlement in Nairobi, carried out by government agencies, ‘Kenya Power & Lighting Company’ and ‘Kenya Railways Corporation’ on the morning of 1 October. The forced evictions have rendered more than 3,000 persons homeless. The demolition of homes and places of work was carried out with utter disregard for the presidential moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic issued on 11 May 2020 and Kenya’s international human rights obligations.
Access to adequate housing is a human right and is critical to protecting oneself from COVID-19, stopping its spread and also recovering from it. I, therefore, condemn in the strongest terms the forced evictions of residents of the Dagoretti Corner settlement. The demolition, that began at 10:00 am, was overseen by more than 100 armed and uniformed police officers. The forced eviction has also led to the destruction of more than 200 small business establishments. The authorities failed to put in place due process requirements. The forced eviction has not only increased the risk of possible exposure to COVID-19 for the affected people and destabilized their lives and livelihoods, but it also constitutes a violation of human rights.
In light of the above, I call on you to ensure the Ministries in charge of Lands, Housing and Energy to take full responsibility for the injustices that these families have suffered and provide effective remedy including provision of adequate alternative housing, compensation and guarantees of non-repetition. Please call upon Parliament to investigate and summon all responsible officers from the Kenya Railways Corporation and Kenya Power & Lighting Company to establish why the Presidential moratorium on all evictions in Nairobi during COVID-19 was disregarded. Call upon the Inspector General of Police to issue an advisory to all officers against facilitating unlawful activities related to evictions and to investigate and take administrative action on all officers who contributed to the forced eviction of Dagoretti Corner settlement residents.