The High Court has temporarily barred Kenya Urban Roads Authority from evicting members of the Nubian community from their homes in Kibra constituency in Nairobi in order to pave way for construction of the Southern Bypass.
The community who are complainants in the case say the respondents did not follow due process and are threatening to demolish their houses.
They told the court that their houses in Lindi, Mashimoni and Kambi Aluru areas have been marked for demolition and beacons placed for purposes of building a part of the southern bypass.
They claim that Kibra is their ancestral land and they stand to suffer losses if construction is allowed.
They say they were ordered to vacate their houses on the 28th of last month by H-Young Company Limited failure to which they will be forcefully evicted and their houses demolished. The case will be heard on the 18th of October.
Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi, and the largest urban slum in Africa. The 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census reports Kibera’s population as 170,070, contrary to previous estimates of one or two million people.
About the Nubians
In the late 1880s, Nubian soldiers from Sudan were incorporated into the British Army to fight in East Africa. In 1902, they formed the King’s African Rifles, fought for the British in WWI and WWII and played a vital role in the development of Kenya and East Africa.
In 1915, the colonial government began categorizing Kenyan tribes and settling them on reserves. The British classified the Nubians as a tribe not native to Kenya.
Having been denied a Native Reserve and unable to return to Sudan, the Nubians had nowhere to go.
In 1917, the British designated about 4,000 acres of land outside of Nairobi for the Nubians to settle on, which the Nubians named Kibra, or “land of forest,” in the Nubian language.
Photo: View of Kibera. Source: KBC Reporters.