Anger as graft claims rock eviction drive in Mathare and Mukuru


A Mathare resident carries iron sheets he scavenged during the demolition of structures and buildings illegally erected along riverbanks in the Kosovo slum in Mathare, Nairobi,  on May 29, 2024.

Photo credit: Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

Dozens of residents in Nairobi’s Mukuru Kayaba slum are among the victims whose names are missing from the list submitted to administrators for the Sh10,000 payout from the government’s flood relief kitty.

Those who spoke to the Nation on condition of anonymity claimed fraudulent activities had marred the whole process.

Speaking on Sunday, June 9, Starehe Deputy County Commissioner John Kisang directed that the missing names of genuine victims be submitted to the South B office and a copy of the list be sent to him.

“We cannot allow illegalities to take place in the government’s office. We shall check to verify and if we find that someone was involved in corruption, he or she will be held accountable,” Mr Kisang said. The government had promised to give every household Sh10,000 ahead of an exercise to remove structures built on riparian zones along rivers Nairobi, Ngong and Mathare.

Lack of transparency

Questions are now being raised over the ongoing demolitions in Mathare, with a section of residents claiming that they are being forced to part with bribes for their homes to be spared.

Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) officials who visited the area at the weekend lamented that people with disabilities (PWDs) were being neglected.

“There is lack of transparency in the distribution of the money and even aid meant for victims does not reach the hands of the PWDs,” he said, asking the government to look after women and children as well. Still, I Rise International School Director Susan Irungu told the Nation she had been approached by unnamed officials with bribe demands to stop the demolition of the institution.

“They demanded Sh1 million but I refused,” Ms Irungu said.

The school’s CEO, Mr Nocolo Govoni, wondered why the State had condemned the school for being built on riparian land despite the institution recently receiving a certificate of operation from the Ministry of Education.

Furthermore, he said, officials from the National Environment Management Authority inspected the facility and gave it a clean bill of health.

“Why did they issue us with a certificate if we are on riparian land?” Mr Govoni posed.