Immediately after Ruto’s irregular and illegal directive, bulldozers descended on houses in Athi River on October 14. The demolitions and evictions occurred four days after the court said East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) owned the disputed land—and did not in any way approve evictions and demolitions. Hundreds of Kenyans wanted the court to validate their title deeds—but a decision was made in favor of EAPCC.

A case of Illegal, irregular, forceful, and arbitrary evictions

Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and Mazingira Institute (Mazingira) strongly condemn the ongoing eviction because of their illegal, irregular, forceful, and arbitrary nature. They contradict the international, regional, and national governance and human rights frameworks.

To begin with, the United Nations Guidelines on Evictions, together with Section 152E of the Land Laws (Amendment) Act, 2016, stipulates evictions cannot be conducted subject to the issuance of a three-month notice. It must be in writing, in a national and official language, and be published in at least two daily newspapers of nationwide circulation. Eviction cannot happen if this notice is not displayed in less than five strategic locations within the occupied land.

Nationally, the right to shelter and housing, as enshrined in Article 43 of the Constitution, was grossly infringed.

Further, Section 152G (1) of the Land Laws (Amendment) Act, 2017, stipulates the following mandatory procedures with which every eviction must comply:

  1. Be preceded by the proper identification of those taking part in the eviction or demolitions;
  2. be preceded by the presentation of the formal authorizations for the action;
  3. where groups of people are involved, government officials or their representatives to be present during an eviction;
  4. Be carried out in a manner that respects the dignity, right to life, and security of those affected;
  5. Include special measures to ensure effective protection for groups and people who are vulnerable, such as women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities;
  6. Include special measures to ensure that there is no arbitrary deprivation of property or possessions as a result of the eviction;
  7. Include mechanisms to protect property and possessions left behind involuntarily from destruction;
  8. Respect the principles of necessity and proportionality during the use of force; and
  9. Give the affected persons the first priority to demolish and salvage their property.

However, what we have witnessed is a stark contradiction to these regulations. Evictions started merely four days following the court's verdict. This hasty action prompts the question: why the rush, especially when the EAPCC had a full 90 days to take appropriate measures per the law?

Irregular acquisition and subdivision

While there were irregularities over how the land was acquired, questions abound about how the parcel changed hands from EAPCC to private entities. This speaks of fraud within the land departments in the county and national government.

Our demands

We now demand:

  1. The immediate halt to the ongoing demolitions and evictions in Athi River. The government must engage in a meaningful and compassionate dialogue with the affected residents.
  2. The government must ensure that international human rights standards, including those related to forced evictions, are strictly adhered to during removals, respecting the dignity and well-being of all individuals and communities involved.
  3. The government must provide humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food, and clothing, to the victims of these evictions, especially vulnerable groups such as women, children, and older people.
  4. Authorities must investigate the circumstances surrounding these evictions and acquisitions, hold those responsible accountable,.
  5. Ensure adequate psychosocial support and effective remedies for the victims.

Our immediate action is to go to court with a view to:

  1. Hold perpetrators of these frauds and human rights violations to account.
  2. Stop the evictions and seek remedies for the victims.

To this effect, we are calling upon and advancing partnerships with the impacted individuals and groups.


  1. Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
  2. Mazingira Institute