Moi appeals for calm in Nairobi rent fights

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya Friday toured the clash-torn Kibera Estate within Nairobi and ordered an immediate crackdown against those he said were inciting the residents to fight against each other.
Moi's visit to the area came just hours after a heated debate in parliament saw opposition members of parliament demand that he should make a tour of the area to ease tensions that have left at least 10 people dead in Kenya's biggest slum.
He particularly singled out an opposition legislator, David Mwenje, whom he accused of having visited the area with ulterior motives.
Without giving details, Moi said he was aware of a plot by some politicians - and an NGO he promised to name later - to start similar chaos in other residential areas within the city.
Mwenje, from the opposition Democratic Party, is one of the legislators who went to Kibera at the height of the clashes to put up a case for the landlords.
Later in parliament he was one of those who demanded that Moi should visit the place to cool down tempers.
He announced that the government had set aside two million shillings for rehabilitation and resettlement and that a special District Commissioner would be sent there to oversee the operation.
Immediate measures included the supply of sufficient food as well as other basic needs from the government to the slum dwellers.
This would supplement the relief supplies being given to the victims by organisations such as the Red Cross.
Skirmishes broke out last week pitting the residents against their landlords whom they accused of charging them exorbitant rents for the hovels they live in.
The dead were either knifed or bludgeoned to death, while hundreds others were left nursing injuries in the melee that rocked the slum of some 700,000 inhabitants.
The battles hit fever pitch Wednesday night when marauding youths torched houses as they battled with police and the paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU).
Thousands fled their homes seeking refuge at administration centres or with relatives in other parts of the city.

07 december 2001 15:08:00

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