Judge saves Shauri Moyo, Starehe estates’ tenants from eviction

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 31 Jul, 2019 09:33 | 2 mins read
A bulldozer tears down a building in Pangani in July to pave way for modern apartments. PHOTO | SCREENGRAB
A bulldozer tears down a building in Pangani in July to pave way for modern apartments. PHOTO | SCREENGRAB

Over 1,500 residents of Shauri Moyo and Starehe estates have received a reprieve after the High Court temporary stopped planned demolition of their houses.

The national government in conjunction with the Nairobi County were set to descend on their houses starting Wednesday morning.

Justice James Makau issued the orders restraining the government from demolishing the houses until a case challenging the decision is heard and determined.

Over 350 houses were set to be demolished to clear land for a housing upgrade plan inked under Private Public Partnership.

The court agreed with the applicant's lawyer Nyaboga Mariaria that the occupants have not been given alternative place to relocate to.

The orders were granted following a demolition notice from the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development which was to be effected on Wednesday.

The tenants have been living in the government-owned house for over 20 years.

According to the residents Chairman Adam Katana Shahenza, the planned demolition is grounded on mischief as there are already developers linked to the acquisition of the land.

"It’s apparent that the Ministry of Transport and the county government are involved in a pre-mature execution as they have not complied with stakeholder resolutions and the Kenya Affordable Housing Programmer Development Framework Guidelines "KAHPDFG)," the lawyer said.

He said that Governor Mike Sonko’s administration wants to evicts the families from their houses without adequate notice.

The petitioners said that they are government employees, law-abiding citizens and are entitled to being treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.

"Some of the resolutions that were passed by stakeholders and the implementing agency, the Nairobi County Government, were that the residents will be allocated the houses that will be constructed in the empty spaces after meeting the terms and conditions during the allocation of the finished houses and that no resident will be evicted during the development of the houses," Mr Mariaria told the judge.

The lawyer submitted that, in case the eviction is effected, the residents be given adequate time as provided by the law.

He further said that enumeration has not taken place and therefore the intended eviction is a nullity.

Justice Makau directed all parties to exchange suit documents and return to court on November 5, 2019.

Mid this month, Pangani estates tenants were pushed out in the cold by the county government following a protracted tussle over the housing upgrade plan.

The tenants’ houses were demolished in the middle of the night to pave way for construction of modern apartments.

But their plea to stop the demolitions fell on deaf ears after the court allowed Mr Sonko’s bulldozers to continue tearing down the houses.

The construction of modern houses in Nairobi is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big 4 agenda, whose aim is to provide affordable housing to the millions of people who call the city home.