Politics and policy
Syokimau demolition victims push for compensation
Posted Sunday, June 24 2012 at 17:10
Three owners of houses that were demolished at Syokimau estate in Mavoko Municipality have moved to the Constitutional Court seeking compensation.
Arthur Omollo, Joshua Ayieko and Gladys Mageka have petitioned the Attorney- General and Lands commissioner following the action by the Kenya Airports Authority.
Through Rachier and Amollo Advocates, the trio has published a notice inviting members of the public to join in the petition, potentially making it a class action suit.
Parties interested in joining the petition were advised to collect the relevant pleadings from the Constitutional and Judicial Review registry at Milimani Law courts and thereafter to seek the court’s permission to be allowed as parties.
When the residents moved to court last November, Lady Justice Martha Koome, then a High Court judge, issued a temporary injunction stopping KAA from further demolition until the case was concluded. Justice Koome has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal. Mr Wambua Mila, on behalf of 1,800 members of Uungani Settlement Scheme and self-help group, lodged an application accusing KAA of acting in disregard of the law.
They argued that the airport management was acting beyond its mandate and that the demolitions were inhuman and unconstitutional. They urged the court to maintain the status quo and prevent violation of their rights to own property.
The residents said that they had not breached the Civil Aviation Act.
In 2004, KAA filed a suit alleging that the group had encroached on its land LR 21919 occupied by the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). But in a sworn statement, the chairman of the group Mr Mila said its parcel — LR 14231 —was within Kathiani Constituency, Mavoko Municipality in Machakos County while KAA’s alleged holding was in Nairobi County.
On September 18 last year, KAA put up a notice saying it intended to demolish all structures and developments in Syokimau, Kiang’ombe and Mittumba.
However, the residents argued that the Syokimau referred to in the notice was formerly known as Syokimau Farm, which has since been subdivided into hundreds of plots and sold to the public.
The group claimed KAA had wiped out their entire lifelong savings and investments.