Friday, March 26, 2010

Tenancy Issues in Kibera

One of the churches we work with at Church Army has encountered some tough going in Kibera. In the region of Mashimoni there have been a lot of challenges related to building ownership and tenancy. After the post-election violence, several local politicians encouraged tenants to no longer pay rent in Kibera as the landlords were charging too much. This has not only affected local landlords, but also churches and NGOs involved in development work who are seeking to purchase or develop structures for ministry purposes.

Above is a building that was purchased by Patmos Church in 2008 for use as classrooms for their primary school. Unfortunately, the tenants have refused to leave or pay any form of rent for the past two years. Several "vicious" policies are normally used for eviction in the area: 1. physical removal of the doors of non-paying tenants, 2. forceful expulsion by hired gangs, or 3. peaceful consultation and a decision to leave. Unfortunately, the police have very limited influence in the area. The church is worried that the structure may be burned down by angry tenants if they do not proceed carefully. We are praying for a peaceful resolution to the conflict so that the 63 children of Patmos School do not have to cram into one small room.
Mashimoni is a difficult area. Here is one of the paths through the village:

No comments: