Politics and policy
Southern bypass land owners get relief over titles
Posted Wednesday, June 20 2012 at 19:52
The High Court has declared the revocation of titles issued under the Registration of Titles Act as illegal, giving respite to owners of properties along the Southern bypass marked for demolition.
Constitutional and Human Rights judge David Majanja on Wednesday quashed the Gazette notices issued between July 29, 2010 and April 1 this year, revoking the titles of 24 properties to pave the way for the works.
“This is a major victory for land owners because the court has now made it clear that no one will lose land by way of degazettement of his or her title to land,” said lawyer Allen Gichuhi who acted for Power Technics Limited in the petition.
The Registrar of Titles had directed the property owners and private developers that the parcels of land along the bypass had been reserved for public use.
“Under the circumstances and in view of the public need and interest, the government revokes the said titles,” said the Gazette Notice signed by Registrar of Titles George Gachihi.
The notice affected titles held by Compar Investments, Philips Healthcare Services, Curson Properties, Collogne Investments, Odds and Ends, Traco Investments and Power Engineering International.
Others were Parkview Shopping Arcade, Brampton Investments, Placid View Properties, Kellico Ltd, Aryan Ltd, Pristine Properties, Nishan Holdings, Kenya Reinsurance Corporation, Samco Holdings and Rosewood Offices Systems.
Quashing the Gazette notices in the landmark ruling, Mr Majanja said the Registrar of Titles has no powers to revoke the titles, as the High Court had found in previous directions.
Mr Justice Majanja said the powers of the registrar were limited to correcting errors and where entries or endorsements to any grant or certificate of title were fraudulent. Even in such cases, the judge ruled, the party against whom the power is invoked must be given an opportunity to be heard.
Mr Majanja said all State and public officers should acquaint themselves with the directions and decisions of the High Court and the superior courts and follow them to the letter.
The judge directed the registrar to cancel all entries in Gazette notices Numbers 9230, 7751, 3640 and 13104 revoking the titles to the properties listed.
He directed Mr Gachihi to publish the court orders in the Kenya Gazette by July 13 when he should appear in court to confirm compliance with the orders.
The road, under construction, is expected to divert traffic from Mombasa Road to Kikuyu in Kiambu County.
It will see vehicles, especially trucks from Mombasa and headed to Nakuru, diverted at Ole Sereni Hotel to Lang’ata Road, Dagoretti and then to Kikuyu where they will join the Nakuru-Naivasha Road.
The 28.6-kilometre dual carriage will partly address the traffic jam in Nairobi and its environs.
The project also includes the construction of a 12-kilometre slip road, six interchanges, street lights and drainage.