Kariobangi evictees want CSs fired

A section of Kariobangi residents left homeless after demolition of their houses by the government have petitioned a Nairobi court to declare that three Cabinet Secretaries are unfit to serve as public officers for disobeying an order halting the evictions.

The CSs targeted by the move are Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Sicily Kariuki (Water) and Faridah Karoney (Lands), according to a petition filed at the High Court’s Constitution and Human Rights Division by Kariobangi Sewerage Farmers Self Help Group.

Also on the list are Inspector General of police Hilary Mutyambai and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki.

Through constitutional lawyer Dr John Khaminwa, the petitioners say the five officials are liable for their forceful eviction from a piece of land that is said to be government property, leaving more than 7,000 residents homeless.

They want the court to dismiss contracts of service for the five officials for coordinating and overseeing an exercise that subjected the victims to cruel treatment and violated their right to dignity.

The group is also seeking an order declaring that the eviction and flattening of houses by bulldozers on May 4, 2020 was unlawful and against the rule of law. Further, they want an order awarding them punitive damages.

On claims against CS Kariuki, the group says she authored a letter dated April 22, 2020 directing the mass eviction while Dr Matiang’i is sued for disobedience of court orders and failing to prevent police from conducting the exercise. 


Ms Karoney is sued for overseeing eviction of the petitioners despite a court order dated May 3, 2020 being in force.

The Attorney General has been sued for failing to advise the government to desist from the eviction while police boss Mutyambai is said to have failed to ensure officers used their power rationally during the exercise.

“The respondents have no respect for the rule of law. The anarchy ought not to supersede the written laws and which bind government actions,” says lawyer Khaminwa in the 14-page petition insisting the exercise which caused public uproar was malicious and arbitrary.

They have listed Kituo Cha Sheria (Legal Advice Centre) as an interested party.

Prior to the eviction, the lawyer says the victims were not given adequate notice of three months and so they were caught unprepared by the April 22 letter requiring them to vacate. The letter also did not provide the period within which the eviction would take place, says the lawyer.

Following the notice, the residents moved to court and secured an order on May 3 directing that status quo on the property be maintained until the case was heard and determined.

While insisting the petitioners are the legal owners of the land, the lawyer says his clients were allocated the property by government and issued with title deeds. They have also been paying land rates to the Nairobi County Government.

Before proceeding with the eviction, Mr Khaminwa says the State officials failed to ensure an environment, social and economic impact assessment had been carried out.

“The effects of the eviction are visible, destruction of families, human suffering and loss of properties. The image created by the eviction to the rest of the country is that the petitioners are second class citizens,” states Mr Khaminwa.


Since the exercise rendered the petitioners homeless and sleeping in the cold and in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lawyer says the actions amount to crimes against humanity as it was in violation of the Constitution and international law.

“It has become a norm in the country that court orders are issued in futility as State agencies act above the law. The respondents have breached public trust and they should be barred from holding public office,” Mr Khaminwa states.

The group’s chairmam, Mr Isaac Abdi Adan, says government officials abused their powers in overseeing mass eviction leading to destruction of property, displacement and subjecting victims to physical, psychological amd economic suffering.

In his supporting affidavit to the petition, Mr Adan states that as Kenyans, they have a right to seek dismissal of the respondents’ contract of service as well as a right to decide the leaders who should govern them.

“The fact the Presidency has appointed the respondents does not amount to a rubber stamp and to that effect we can challenge their appointment and the mode of leadership. The incidence should be marked as gross violation of human rights. It should be noted we were evicted at a time the country was fighting Covid-19,” says the chairman.

They have attached pictures of the demolished properties.