Owners of buildings near Moi Air Base in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area have gone to court seeking orders to stop further demolition of their multi-billion shilling investments.
Judges have granted the litigants temporary orders barring the government from further demolitions. Most of the buildings in the sprawling suburb are commercial and residential. (READ: Demolitions revealed flaws in sector)
On Thursday and Friday last week, at least 10 property owners got orders barring the government from further demolitions after they convinced the court that they had paid colossal amounts of money and obtained all the necessary building approvals to construct the buildings.
Real estate developer Nebange Ltd, through Njoroge Regeru and Company Advocates, was granted orders directing the State to preserve the property, a four storey-building, until the case is heard and determined.
The other seven separate cases were filed by Yusuf Ibrahim Ismail, Sifa Investment, Adana Dow Ibrahim, Ali Abdirahman Adan, Adan Diis Elmi, Mohamed Khalif Ali, Abdi Mohamed Ali, and Adan Hassan Issack.
Mr Justice David Majanja issued conservatory orders after being informed that the government was about to demolish the investors’ business premises yet they were legal owners of the buildings. In a related ruling, judge Mohamed Warsame termed the ongoing demolitions a “security monster” saying there was need for the court to intervene and protect citizens from losing their property before the issue is investigated and determined.
“There is reason for this court to intervene to protect them from the Government’s security monster. This monster in the name of security ought to be investigated and tamed. Otherwise, it might run amok and cause more suffering to the citizens of this country,” said Mr Warsame. On the Nebange case, the investor has sued the Attorney-General, Defence and Internal Security ministers, saying he was apprehensive that the State, through its agents, would arbitrarily demolish the property L.R. 36/11/240.
The developer termed the imminent action as unilateral arguing that demolitions were being carried out without reference or warning to property owners which “amounts to flagrant disregard of the owners’ constitutional rights to property.”
Nebange MD Peter Nderitu Gethi argues that the government’s intended action is in disregard of the fact that since March 20, 1985, the investor has been the lawful registered owner of the property. “The demolition is devoid of legal or constitutional sanction and would result in the owners’ rights and those of majority of its employees… being subjugated and violated,” says Mr Gethi in a sworn affidavit.