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Over 200 squatter families evicted from Athinai estate in Nakuru

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By JOSEPH OPENDA
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More than 200 families were on Thursday left homeless when bulldozers flattened their houses at Athinai estate in Mogotio, Nakuru County.

The families were caught unawares as they were still asleep when the bulldozers destroyed their temporary structures.

The families are squatters who have been living at the expansive farm for more than 40 years.

The demolitions were conducted by Tango auctioneers, acting on a court order obtained by the sisal estate owner Mr Harry Horn.

Mr John Muthee a director of the auctioneering firm, said the land owner procured their services after the squatters refused to heed a vacate notice.

“We are acting on a court order obtained by the land owner who wants to develop the property. We cannot be blamed for the evictions because the families had been given an opportunity to vacate peacefully but they refused,” said Mr Muthee.

The exercise was guarded by police led by Rongai OCPD Japheth Kioko.

Mr Harry Horn, the owner of Athinai estate that is managed by Lomolo Sisal Company, obtained orders to evict the families on October 16.

During the Thursday morning operation, many of the families watched helplessly as the bulldozers ran over their settlement.

Six churches were among the structures that were brought down during the demolitions.

Stranded residents complained that the owners did not give them a notice to move their valuables.

Ms Pamela Rege 27, a mother of three, said she was surprised when the bulldozers descended on their houses early in the morning without notice.

She said she was still asleep when she heard screams from the estate dwellers whose houses were being demolished.

The woman said she could not salvage anything.

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