It has always been the norm that when people have been evicted from their houses or land, and have become homeless, or squatters, they will protest and demonstrate. They will demand justice, with their anger arising from a feeling of indignation. It is something of an impossibility to even imagine that a person who has just been evicted from somewhere he, or she, has been calling home would jubilate at this.
However, these were the strange scenes that were witnessed outside the Environment and Lands court in Mombasa on Wednesday after the court ruled that a Kshs 6 billion affordable housing project by the county government of Mombasa, in partnership with a private developer, will go on after a petition by some residents of Buxton estate challenging its implementation was dismissed by court.
The Environment and Land Court said issues raised by the residents challenging implementation of the project at the estate had been determined by another court four years ago in a petition which involved all 10 county estates.
After this ruling, a section of Buxton residents celebrated outside the court, heaping praises on the judgement.
Amina Abdalla, one of the residents, said that anywhere, anytime, change is always difficult, and she would be forced to live with relatives, but all the same, she was glad that the project was going on because in the long run, it was going to improve Buxton.
Another resident, Beatrice Gambo, said that the fact that Buxton residents would get first priority once the houses were complete, and that they would get to choose the kind of structure they wanted, was more than they could ask for.
Perhaps in a move to dispel rumours that they had been paid off by the county government to hold the scene, the residents made it clear that they were also going to bare the brunt of the evictions, but it was for the greater good.