KDF kicks out quarry workers from controversial land

The workers claimed they were on Friday beaten up by the soldiers who were ferried by military tanks.

They claimed that the controversy started when the county government decided to construct the road which passes through the land.

The Kenya Defence Forces in Embakasi Garrison has kicked out 500 quarry workers from a controversial parcel of land.

This came just a day after the Nairobi County government obtained a court order stopping military from interfering with the construction of the Mihang’o-Kayole road link on the land.

A spot check by the Nation found military lorries with soldiers and military tanks as they patrolled the land with quarry workers watching from a distance on the other side of the bridge.

Mr Kevin Kariuki, a quarry worker, whose lip and back were swollen, said the soldiers went at around 11am and attacked them with rungus.

Mr Kariuki said his colleagues managed to escape but he and another man were beaten up by the soldiers.

“They came and they called us but some of us started running. I think it angered them then they started beating us,” said Mr Kariuki.

DAILY PATROLS

Ms Ann Irungu, a quarry worker, said they had seen the soldiers at around 7am doing daily patrols but after three hours they saw the military tank approaching them and they were chased away.

“I don’t understand what is happening. The quarry has been here for over 20 years. The soldiers patrol the area and ask about our wellbeing but today they chased us away,” she said.

Kayole Residents Welfare Association chairman Jeremiah Karani said the soldiers also threatened to destroy a bridge connecting the two estates.

He said they had been given two days to remove all the ballast they had been digging on the land which is “impossible as it is in thousands of tonnes”.

The soldiers, said Mr Karani, had last month dug trenches on the land, cutting off the road, a move that prompted the county government to file an application in court.

He said they had co-existed with the soldiers for more than 30 years and were shocked by the move to dig the trench.

‘COUNTY GOVERNMENT’

“We have petitioned the President, Parliament and the county government concerning the closure of this road which is used by close to one million people a day,” he said.

In October, the residents of Utawala woke up to the closure of Mihango and Kayole road by the military who dug trenches across the road.

The orders issued by Judge George Odunga prohibited military from digging a trench across the road.

The court has further demanded that the military should stop deploying its officers along the road.

Addressing journalists at City Hall, Dr Kidero said the closure of the road had affected over one million people as it served as a link between Embakasi Central and Embakasi South.

Dr Kidero’s government is engaged in a land tussle with the Defence ministry, which he claims grabbed the land.

Kidero said the county had already hired a contractor to repair the road at a cost of Sh230.2 million but it had stalled over the dispute.

Judicial Service Commission approves promotion of 166 magistrates

Loss-making Portland set to send home 1,000 workers