Nairobi loses battle for prime city land to KAA


City hall, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Nairobi City County has lost a petition seeking to be declared the owner of controversial plots in Embakasi claimed by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).

Justice Oscar Angote dismissed the case by the county stating that City Hall did not prove ownership.

The Environment and Land Court judge said the county did not table evidence to prove how it acquired the four-acre parcel in Embakasi Village and show that title documents held by KAA were fake.

“In the circumstances, the court finds that the particulars in the Valuation Roll cannot in themselves prove ownership of the suit properties. That being the case, the court is unable to make a finding that the suit properties belong to the plaintiff,” said Justice Oscar Angote.

Last year, City Hall lost a similar case. The court went ahead and slapped the county with a fine of Sh1.5 million for trespass after it tried to evict airport staff in 1998.

The KAA said the government allocated it the land and established a housing estate known as Embakasi Village. The houses were for its employees then known as the Department of Aerodromes and other civil servants working at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

But in January 1998, city council officials stormed the houses, claiming to own the property, and sought to evict the occupants unless they paid rent. The agency moved to court and the matter was settled by consent. In the consent, it was agreed that some 42 houses belonged to KAA but the market and social hall, belonged to the county.

The city county was at it again and moved to evict KAA staff from four houses unless they paid rent, prompting a fresh court battle.

However, City Hall said although KAA claimed to have acquired a grant of the parcels in 1998, it exerted pressure on the defunct city council in 2007 to sell the plots to the agency but the request was denied because the land was not available for alienation.

The county government tabled three allotment letters to prove that it owned the plots starting with one issued in 1964.

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