In May 25th the year 2019, chaos erupted at a church in Nairobi’s Buruburu Phase 4 Estate when youths who had allegedly been hired by a private developer stormed the church compound in an attempt to bring it down.
They were armed with machetes, pangas and other crude weapons with the sole purpose of bringing down any structure within the church compound. However, it didn’t take long before one Mike Mbuvi Sonko then, the Governor of the city, drove in with a team from the County and some of his followers to help stop the demolitions.
Sonko came in right on time, after being tipped by the neighboring community about what was happening. By the time he was getting at the church compound, Kinderstarn Primary School,which also sat on the same piece of land, had completely been brought down.
When confronted by the governor, the youths said that they were affecting a court order over the piece of land that had been subject to several court disputes.
Interestingly, police officers from the Buruburu Police Station were within vicinity as this happened to the dismay of the victims of the attack from the hired goons.
While speaking to the media at the event, Sonko labeled the incident as an attempted land grabbing by a ‘known land grabber’ working secretly with police officers to defraud widows and unsuspecting citizens.
“This is a heinous act. Where on earth can one demolish a church and grab land? We cannot allow this to happen in Nairobi. We must respect human beings regardless of their status whether rich or poor,” Sonko said.
Three people would later be arrested and a woman found to have been raped rushed to hospital. The matter would be brought to the attention of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority ( IPOA). Sonko also asked the Inspector General of police to take action against police officers from Buruburu who accompanied the armed youths to the scene.
Complaint to IPOA
A letter dated June 18,2019 from the office of the governor to Mrs Ann Makori who is the IPOA chairperson details the governor’s frustrations against Buruburu OCPD Mr.Adamson Bungei whom he accused for neglect of duty.
‘’I wish to draw your attention and request investigations and urgent disciplinary action against Buruburu OCPD Mr. Adamson Bungei with respect to his conduct and neglect of duty to protect the public and private property from criminal gangs, looters and goons as witnessed during two recent illegal demolition and eviction incidents that occurred within the area under his command,’’ reads parts of the letter.
He further narrates how he was forced to go rescue school children and their female teachers after they were accosted at 6:30AM as they prepared to go participate in the Mater Heart Run 2019 where they were beaten and harassed for hours by the violent gang of goons.
Sonko argued that despite a report of the incident having been made by the proprietor of the school on the material day at Buruburu Police Station OB. No. 09/25/05/2019 at 6:40AM, the Police took hours to respond.
“The Buruburu Police were already aware of the history of the property as a forgery complaint had been earlier lodged against the Trustees (OB No. 54/24/5/2017) who purportedly sold the land to the person responsible for unleashing violence on school children and the matter was and still is pending investigations,” the letter further reads.
He also brought to the attention of IPOA an incident that occurred on Sunday June 16, 2019 at Madiwa in Eastleigh under the Buruburu OCPD command where again an armed gang went about carrying out illegal demolitions and evictions, destruction and looting of private property and violent harassment of women and children.
In the letter,he indicated that he informed the Buruburu OCPD of the incident and requested for police intervention.
He claimed to have evidence ascertaining that the the purported ex-parte Business Premises Rent Tribunal Order (attached) which the Police used, allegedly under Buruburu OCPD ‘supervised armed goons to “enforce” against Madiwa Residents was fake.
Sonko argued that the order was related to business premises while the plot where the demolitions and evictions were being carried out was a residential establishment over which, according to him, the Tribunal has no jurisdiction at all.
He also noted that to demolish any premises in Nairobi County, one needs a demolition permit from the County Government which was not obtained.
“The Buruburu OCPD ought to explain what demolition order he was enforcing and given that the order in question related to a business premises why did he allow demolition and eviction in a residential premises,” he added in the letter.
He accused the OCPD of issuing orders to a respondent who had died 9 years ago from the date of executing the said orders.
“Lastly, and interestingly, the purported Respondent against whom the order is issued and purported to have been served is the Late Gladwell Muthoni Njoroge who died on 15th June 2010 as confirmed by Grant of Letters of Administration (attached) issued to Stella Wambui Muthoni on 19th October 2010 in the High Court at Nairobi Probate and Administration Cause No. 1585 of 2010. The question arises whether Buruburu OCPD confirmed if, when and how the order was served upon Gladwell Muthoni who has been dead for 9 years before agreeing to supervise the eviction of the dead tenant. Therefore, the Buruburu OCPD allowed enforcement of a fraudulent court order issued in respect to business premises LR. No. 1905/02632 against innocent residential tenants in LR. No. 36/111/1036 who were not party to the case,”
In his own words,Sonko requested IPOA to investigate the conduct of the Buruburu OCPD for neglect of duty and abuse of office including the possibility that he may have been compromised by notorious land grabbers and unscrupulous landlords involved in both incidents.
He wrapped up the letter by requesting that IPOA recommends the suspension or transfer of the OCPD to pave way for investigations.
The letter was copied to the Cabinet Secretary for Interior Security and National Coordination Fred Matiangi,Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Joseph Kinyua, Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai and to the Chief Executive Officer at Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commision (EACC).
It is the May 25th 2019 incident in Buruburu that has put the governor in trouble after the Director of Criminal Investigations grilled him over claims that he planned chaos during the 2017 elections.Police also claimed that the former governor will have to face charges of robbery and five counts of assault.
However, court documents related to the disputed piece of land in Buruburu seem to work in favor of the ex- governor after the court ruled to return it to the widow known as Mary Achola who is a widow.
This followed a joint successful application by the county government and the widow’s daughter against Landmerk International which is linked to city business tycoon Patrick Nderitu.
Sonko has previously accused Mr Nderitu of working with unscrupulous police officers to grab land from widows and unsuspecting Kenyans.
In June 2019,the Makadara Law Courts charged several individuals who conspired to sell the widow’s land.
In a video seen by this writer,the widow together with members of the church and trustees of Glad Tidings which runs the church appear to be happy with the governor’s intervention that saw them win the case.
On Tuesday Last week, Sonko was released by a Kiambu Court on a Sh300,000 bond with a surety of the same amount.
Interestingly,the court further instructed him to look for his accusers in a bid to resolve the cases out of court.
He had earlier on been arraigned where he faced various counts of assault and forcible entry of property in Buruburu Phase Four.
The court heard that on May 25, 2019, at Buruburu Phase four, in Kamukunji, jointly with others not before court,Sonko forcibly and violently entered into a private piece of land land Lr Nairobi block 78/8, the property of Landmark International Properties.
He was also charged for another count of assault causing actual bodily harm. It was alleged that on May 25, 2019, at Buruburu phase four in Kamukunji jointly with others not before court unlawfully led a group of men and assaulted Alex Kioko thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm.
It will be interesting to see whether Sonko, a self proclaimed king of court cases will settle for an out of court solution to the matter or whether he will want to pursue it in court to the end.
He faced another count of assault causing actual bodily harm. It was alleged that on May 25, 2019, at Buruburu phase four in Kamukunji jointly with others not before court unlawfully led a group of men and assaulted Alex Kioko thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm.