The High Court has declined to suspend an order for the eviction of thousands of residents of Njiru, Chokaa and Mihang’o areas in Nairobi on 1,000 acres of land owned by late politician Gerishon Kirima.
In her decision on Monday, November 23, Judge Anne Omollo of the Employment and Lands Court declined to suspend the December 31 demolition order issued in a judgment rendered by a superior court judge Samson Okon'go pending the determination of a lawsuit lodged by the occupants.
Further, the judge also declined a request by the son of a former Italian settler Demico De Masi, who alleges to be the owner of the land, to be enjoined as an interested party in the suit.
The court decision comes after the residents of the land challenged Justice Okong'o's order issued on October 23. The judge had vested the land in dispute to the estate of the late Billionaire Kirima.
He further ordered all illegal occupants of the land to vacate, failure to which the beneficiaries of the Kirima estate would forcibly evict them.
The residents claimed that the Kirima family was irregularly stocking the property since the land belonged to Demico.
A few days after the eviction order was issued Demico's son Bernado Vicezo De Masi, who claims to have been the administrator of the land filed an application seeking to be allowed to participate in the suit claiming they intend to adduce new evidence in dispute to show the land does not belong to Kirima.
"The applicants are seeking to have Bernado Vicezo De Masi be enjoined in the fresh case to shed light on the true ownership of the Multi-billion parcel of land," they urged the judge.
In his bid to prove ownership, Vicezo presented to the court a title deed dated 1937 issued in favour of his late father, Italian investor the late Demico de Masi.
The residents are seeking to have the judgement quashed saying that they are in utter shock by the decision of the court as they have been residing on the parcel of land for over 40 years.
They add that during their stay on the land they have developed over 15 schools, four SDA churches, Private academies, High schools, Njiru Level 4 hospital, Comboni and St Monica catholic churches among other institutions.
According to the petitioners, they are on the verge of being rendered homeless if the judgement of Justice Okong'o is implemented.
The court papers reveal that since the pronouncement of the High Court that they should vacate the land, thousands of affected settlers have fallen sick and are currently hospitalised in various facilities with life-threatening diseases.
The settlers claim that they have been paying land rates to Nairobi City County.
The case will be heard on January 29, 2024