A Kenyan family residing in the United States has written a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, protesting the recent demolition of their house by the Mombasa County government.
In the letter dated March 10, 2018 and copied to the now-former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the family of Judy Miriga says the County government illegally demolished their house and appeals to President Kenyatta to intervene in the matter to help the family recover its losses.
Here is the letter:
My family and I reside in USA. Before we went to USA we bought a house in Kizingo Mombasa where we stayed as a family from the beginning of February 1982.
When going to USA we left Tenants in different wings of the building. I send my wife Judy Miriga to Kenya to go and do some renovations and repairs on the buildings in May 2015. In the process she hired some people to clean the main house and hand over the door keys to our land agent Mr Lawrence Nyongesa who is also a Tenant at the other wing of the house after cleaning. I paid them by Western Union Money Transfer through Lawyer William Onyango Wameyo Associates of Mombasa for the work done. One of the worker by the name Ochieng Mapengo after cleaning the house went away with the door keys and came back one week later telling the Tenants that my wife Judy did not pay him Ksh. 3,000,000/= (Shillings three millions ). From that time he started harassing and terrorizing our Tenants claiming the whole plot and the buildings belonged to him. That forced me and my wife to come to Kenya to correct the situation on 14th February 2018. On the 16th February 2018 High Court of Kenya Mombasa gave us a temporary Injunction Order signed by Judge Omollo restraining Ochieng Mapengo and all his agents from trespassing, demolishing parts of the building, destroying or cutting down trees, or in any way dealing with the suit land known as Plot No. 622 Allotment letter No. 75892/XIX pending hearing and the determination of this application for a period of 17 days. This gave him a chance for a hearing to defend himself or raise any question or objection if he was against the Court Order.
We pasted copies of the Court Orders at the main entrance gate and three more on each external doors and we hand delivered the other to our regular Tenants in the other separate rooms in the compound.
After getting the information of the pasted court orders at the premises, he came to the plot and removed and destroyed all the Court Order from the gate and doors and threw them a way and sat at the main gate waiting for us or any police to come.
On 5th March 2018 three days before the Court date of 8th March 2018 he organized with some senior Officers from Mombasa County Government who came with Lorries, the bulldozers and County Workers of about 36 people at around 6.0 p.m. and 8.0 p.m. and forcefully vacated our Tenants and immediately demolished our entire houses at the plot that very night leaving our Tenants under no roof in rain at night. That same evening at around 10.00 p.m., Abubakar Joho brother to Governor Hassani Ali Joho of Mombasa came in the compound to confirm that the house is flattened. The Mombasa Central Police refused to take action arguing that the Order was not addressed to them. To-date Ochieng Mapengo and the Abubakar Joho the elder brother of the Mombasa County Government, Governor Ali Hassan Joho has taken control of our Compound plot after flattening our house and are keeping Security Guards at the gate with Ochieng Mapengo as the supervisor to keep my agents away since we are out of the Country and no arrest or any charges can be made.
What happened is unacceptable and a very serious criminal act in nature. It is an economic sabotage and a social danger and tension to ordinary family like ours. We are therefore writing this letter appealing to your Government to take this matter seriously with immediate action and intervene to protect us from this cruel, brutal and malicious act of the oppressor so that we can recover our loses and damages to our buildings and plot.
We remain to hear from you with the most utmost urgency it deserves.
Thank you in advance
Fred, Judy Miriga & family.
C.C. The USA Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson