Home Latest News From Evictions to Excavations: Cartels Turn Mavoko’s Demolished Homes Into Lucrative Business Venture

From Evictions to Excavations: Cartels Turn Mavoko’s Demolished Homes Into Lucrative Business Venture

by Mustafa Juma

Do you remember when the government hurriedly demolished homes and evicted hundreds of locals in Athi River, Mavoko Sub-County in Machakos County?

Well, the expansive land owned by East Africa Portland Cement Company, which witnessed massive evictions in October 2023, has now been turned into a cash cow by unknown cartels.

The land is now at the center of concern due to heavy murram excavation and dumping.

What started as a seemingly vacant piece of land has transformed into a lucrative business venture, leaving over 3,000 families homeless and raising questions about the involvement of cement company officials and unidentified tycoons.

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The Murram Excavation Business

According to a report by K24 tv, a well-orchestrated business emerged on the vacant Mavoko land about two weeks ago.

Heavy murram excavation and cotton soil dumping have become a profitable venture, with a truck of murram fetching Ksh3,000.

The operation is closely guarded, with individuals responsible for counting lorries and collecting cash. Black cotton soil from neighboring Kitengela and Athiriver construction sites is also dumped at night for Ksh500 per lorry.

A lorry being loaded with murram at the controversial Mavoko land. Photo/Courtesy/Christine Musa/K24

Concerns arise as the land, initially subject to a court ruling in favor of the cement manufacturer, undergoes rapid excavation, potentially diminishing its value for future development.

Local Outrage

The displaced residents express their frustration over the situation, highlighting the irony of demolishing homes purportedly for affordable housing initiatives while creating a business opportunity for a select few.

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Suspicion grows among the locals, pointing fingers at rogue Portland Cement officials collaborating with unidentified tycoons and security agencies in this multimillion business.

Market Dynamics

The murram finds its primary destination in a project owned by a foreigner in Athiriver, but the market is open to any interested buyer.

A visible quarry at the expansive East Africa Portland Cement Company land in Mavoko. Photo/Courtesy/Christine Musa/K24

Locals speculate a well-surveyed and pre-planned entry into the murram business, raising eyebrows at the involvement of powerful entities.

Allegations of Collusion

As concerns deepen, locals allege the involvement of uniformed police officers within the quarries.

However, Athiriver sub-county police commander Jos Mudavadi denies any attachment of officers to his station, stating that police presence is only deployed in response to reported incidents.

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The mysterious collaboration between Portland Cement officials, unidentified tycoons, and alleged police involvement adds another layer to the controversy.

As the controversy unfolds, the residents of Athiriver are left grappling with the aftermath of evictions and the questionable transformation of their once-home into a thriving excavation business.

The community demands transparency, accountability, and justice in the face of what seems to be a complex and dubious collaboration between powerful entities.

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