Assembly to Probe Asian Family Home Demolition in Westlands

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  • The House Planning Committee is seized of the inhumane eviction incident 

By Adieri Mulaa

Nairobi county assembly is probing the incident where an auctioneer was involved in the eviction an Asian family from their posh home in Westlands suburb and their multi-million house demolished.

The House Planning Committee is seized of the inhumane eviction and demolition incident in which Niraj Shah and his wife Avani Shah were evicted from their family house which was also destroyed.

“I want to confirm that the Westlands demolition incident has been brought to the Assembly and I am in the Planning Committee which is going to investigate the matter”, Minority Leader Anthony Kiragu told reporters at a news conference.

At the same time, a court has issued a warrant of arrest against directors of Lariak Properties Limited who are said to be on the run.

The company has reportedly laid claim of ownership for the Shah family property which includes the house which was demolished following their eviction.

Four directors named as Mr Nathaniel Kipkemboi Barmasai, Mr Samuel K. Chepkwony, Mr John Kimaiyo Rotich and Mr Joel Kipchichir Kiplang’at are being sought to answer charges connected to the eviction and alleged malicious damage to property.  

The Auctioneer, Mr Zacharia Baraza was arraigned earlier on and admitted to cash bail of Kshs 200,000.

The Assembly will resume Tuesday after a short recess during which Members attended retreats to acquaint themselves with functions of House committees in the county legislature.

Kiragu, who is Waithaka Ward county legislator says the eviction incident which happened over 10 days ago was critical as it negated promises made by Kenya Kwanza Alliance, to protect people and their properties, among other election pledges.

“We saw what they did in Westlands and that is what they used to do in the past. They are now testing the resolve of the Kenya Kwanza government to protect people and to be vigilant about land grabbing and impunity”, he noted.

On 9th November, 2022, Mr Zacharia Baraza of Siuma Auctioneers evicted Niraj and Avani Shah from their posh family house along School Lane in Westlands. 

During the violent destructive exercise, the family lost household goods and other properties while some were destroyed in the eviction process.

“I want to send a clear message that we will not falter, we will not waiver and we will not fail. Those involved can be sure they will not end up with that piece of land if it does not belong to them” Kiragu said.

He also reprimanded police officers who supervised the eviction exercise for not acting while the house was being demolished.

“Police officers were there when the demolition was done but they decided to do nothing while the house and household items were being destroyed and rights of the family violated”, he said.

The MCA noted that the Committee would make a formal complaint to the Inspector General of Police and the Interior docket to investigate the role of the police in the eviction and demolition exercise.

The Minority Leader expressed hope that no county government officers were culpable in any way because they would suffer the wrath of the House findings.

“I want to believe that county government officers were not involved the Shah family property issue because if they are, they are the ones who will bear the brunt of that action in the County Assembly”, he said.

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