February 18, 2023
Stern action will be taken against police and other national government officers who will participate in eviction of people before extensive consultations with other stakeholders, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has warned.
Speaking in Kiriko, Nakuru County, when he visited and distributed food and non-food items to 105 families who were forcefully evicted last week, the Deputy President said police and other government officials have a responsibility of protecting life and livelihoods of the people. As a result, more than 500 people are homeless, with children abandoning school.
“No responsible government will supervise brutal eviction of its people. Any police officer who will supervise eviction and destruction of property will be held responsible. You are on your own. You will be dealt with so that we remain with officers who ae willing to sere the people,” he said.
While terming the demolitions as “careless and insensitive” he said a few “rotten” are working with impunity as was the case with the past regimes. He said the government, led by President William Ruto, is pro-people and will not shy away from taking action against local administrators and police officers who do not follow the law.
The Deputy President said action is being taken against the Nakuru County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo over his role in the forceful evictions.
“You must align yourselves to the President’s thinking of a police officer for the people. You must shape up or ship out,” he said.
He added that it is painful that State resources are used by police and other government officers to humiliate the same citizens who pay taxes. He raised concerns that the local administration officers including the chief and deputy county commissioners did so little in escalating the matter to higher authorities for consultations on the best way forward.
On behalf of President William Ruto and the government, Mr Gachagua apologised to the people of Kiriko and assured them of government support for a lasting solution to the land issue, which has been in the courts for over 30 years.
While the government respects the independence of the Judiciary, which issues the court orders, implementation must be consultative for a human rights-based approach.
With regard to the Kiriko case, Mr Gachagua said the Attorney General Justin Muturi is seized of the matter and will review the file before advising on the way forward.
In other future evictions, the Deputy President said, there must be intensive consultations before implementation to minimise human suffering.
He thanked the people of Kiriko for electing the Kenya Kwanza government in the August 2022 General Election.