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Tema UA: Nairobi: Eviction at Mukuru Kwa Njenga

Lt. Mohammed Badi

Director General

Nairobi Metropolitan Services

Kenyatta International Convention Center

Harambee Avenue, Nairobi.

Mobile: +254 20 273153


Dear Sir:

We are writing to you on behalf of Kenya Social Movements Network (KSM-NET) and the Housing and Land Rights Network of habitat International Coalition (HIC-HLRN) with grave concern for thousands of residents in Mukuru Kwa Njenga Slums who have recently been evicted from their homes. We are also deeply troubled by the reported treatment of the residents who are currently seeking redress for evictions they have been subjected to.

Community members have built permanent structures on the land, and some insist they have regularized their residency with the Ministry and pay taxes. The government has not offered compensation or alternative location for resettlement.

We are convinced that an urgent solution is required to prevent the violation of the human rights of these communities. According to international human rights law, and as per 2(6) of CoK[1] the Government has the obligation to respect, protect, and fulfil the human rights of its citizens. Evictions and demolitions, with their grave human and material consequences, violate the human rights to adequate housing, property, decent work, adequate food, family life, equal protection under the law, personal security, fair trial, decent work, education and health, as well as the constitutional right not to be deprived arbitrarily of the right to use and occupy agricultural land, among others.

Having ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) on 1 May 1972, the Republic of Kenya is treaty bound to conduct itself according to Human Rights Standards. Thus, by conducting and threatening these evictions, Kenya may be violating articles 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Covenant, including the duties specified in the General Comments Nos. 4 & 7 on the human right to adequate housing and on forced evictions.

Following minimum international norms, eviction should be undertaken only as a last resort and in accordance with the following eight principles: (a) an opportunity for genuine consultation with those affected; (b) adequate and reasonable notice for all affected persons prior to the scheduled date of eviction; (c) information on the proposed evictions, and, where applicable, on the alternative purpose for which the land or housing is to be used, to be made available in reasonable time to all those affected; (d) especially where groups of people are involved, government officials or their representatives to be present during an eviction; (e) all persons carrying out the eviction to be properly identified; (f) evictions not to take place in particularly bad weather or at night unless the affected persons consent otherwise; (g) provision of legal remedies; and (h) provision, where possible, of legal aid to persons who are in need of it to seek redress from the courts[2].

Furthermore, evictions should not result in individuals being rendered homeless or vulnerable to the violation of other human rights. Where those affected are unable to provide for themselves, the State must take all appropriate measures, to the maximum of its available resources, to ensure that adequate alternative housing, resettlement or access to productive land, as the case may be, is available. Failure to adhere to these norms constitutes a “gross violation” of human rights, in particular, the human right to adequate housing.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has furthermore issued a resolution on the right to adequate housing and protection from forced evictions that asked countries to put an end to all forms of forced evictions.

HIC-HLRN and Kenya Social Movements Network (KSM-Net) are calling on Kenyan authorities to:

1. Immediately rescind eviction orders and cease processes of evictions and land rights violations,

2. Enact a post land reform policy that guarantees security of tenure, and 

3. Ensure the irreversibility of the land reform program.

Within these principles, we join as Kenya Social Movements Network (KSM-Net) to emphasize the irreversibility of the land reform and ensuring that government work on policy that promotes and protects the beneficiaries of the land reform and put an end to the continued violations of the Constitution of Kenya.

We look forward to hearing of your efforts to ensure that state institutions adhere to the dictates of the Constitution and value human rights, in particular adequate housing, continuous improvement of living conditions and land rights of the poor and vulnerable.

We also encourage your intervention to see to it that all state institutions seek accountability and liability of those (officials and others) engaged in corrupt land deals and that all relevant organs of the state ensure that the conditions for legal evictions are met before initiating any eviction process. This would begin with an impact assessment in advance of any evictions or resettlement, as well as currently displaced persons, in order to ensure reparations for those affected.

We also urge that the Land Commission cooperate with the Counties to conduct and publish a thorough and transparent land audit in areas of land disputes, including areas where the state and its organs seek the removal of inhabitants under any pretext. In doing so, we recommend that all relevant organs of the state apply the UN Basic Guidelines and Principles for Development-based Evictions and Displacements.

We thank you for your attention on this urgent matter and kindly request you to keep us informed about the remedial actions taken by your good offices.


[1] (6) Any treaty or convention ratified by Kenya shall form part of the law of Kenya under this Constitution.

[2] Part Iv—Court Procedures During Eviction Proceedings

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