By Emmanuel Maleve
Families whose homes were flattened are now spending the nights in cold as the much waited Elinino rains kicks off. According to a senior police who spoke to the press in confidence said they will leave the land vacant.
Kenyans have pored over heartbreaking images of bulldozers tearing through peoples’ houses in Mavoko for the last four days.Details indicate that East African Portland Cement owns the contested 4298-acre piece of land squatters had invaded.
A court ruling favouring the cement company turned their lives upside down when demolitions were ordered to clear the property of the illegal structures. In the wake of the ruthless demolitions, over 20,000 families were left homeless as they watched their houses worth millions flattened to the ground.
The Mavoko land saga raises important questions about the balance between protecting property rights and serving the greater good.The court’s decision to demolish the houses in the Mavoko area, built on land deemed to have been unlawfully acquired, has ignited a debate about the principles of justice and fairness. While the ruling upholds the rule of law, it also leaves hundreds of families homeless and destitute.
Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr, echoing the concerns of many, suggests that the court’s decision did not adequately weigh the principle of an “innocent purchaser for value without notice.”
The innocent purchaser principle is a legal doctrine that protects individuals who have purchased property in good faith, without knowledge of any wrongdoing or prior claims to that property. In essence, it ensures that innocent buyers who have invested their resources in good faith are not unjustly penalized when their property is later found to have legal or ownership disputes.