Lamu squatters protest forceful eviction by county government

Some of the squatters living at Bula-Rahma area in Mokowe,Lamu west during a past protest over eviction notices PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Over 500 squatters living at Bula-Rahma area in Mokowe,Lamu west on Thursday took to the streets to protest against the move by the county government to forcefully evict them from their homes.

The squatters marched to governor Fahim Twaha office in Mokowe demanding an explanation as to why he was allowing such an injustice to happen on his watch.

The squatters many of whom are herders, said they had been living in fear after a notice they had been given by the county government requiring them to vacate their homes ran out on Wednesday this week.

The county government of Lamu alleges that the 20 acre piece of land occupied by the squatters in land that had been acquired for the constructions of rural roads.

However, their efforts to be addressed by the governor were futile as they were informed that he was leading a meeting in his office and as such couldn’t see them.

The squatters who carried placards and sang dirges, said their were plots by some county government officials who wanted them out of the lands so that they could sell them to tycoons who are said to be willing to part with a fortune for the 20 acre piece of land.

They said they had nowhere else to go and that it was unfair for the county government to evict them from a place they had lived for decades.

Their spokesperson Shukri Abdi said they will not vacate the lands until the governor gives them an audience and an ample way forward.

“We have been here for over 20 years.We have established and have families here.We have our property here too.They say this village is standing on a land where a road is to be built.We find that repulsive.How can you say an entire village is to be a road?We vare aware there are some tycoons who really want this land at any cost and that’s why we shall stay put,”said Shukri.

They were issued with the four day vacation notice on October 7 which ran out on October 11.

Efforts to reach governor Twaha for his comments on the matter were futile as his phone went unanswered.