Economy

600 Embakasi land owners face eviction in way-leave row

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A Kenya Power technician working on a power transformer. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Over 600 residents in Embakasi, Nairobi, will be rendered homeless after Kenya Power successfully persuaded the High Court to throw out their petition for encroaching on its power line way-leave.
  • The residents are among land owners along Saika Estate, Omega, Daylight, Chemichemi and Mwengenye areas in Kayole.
  • They had moved to court seeking to stop Kenya Power from demolishing their permanent structures ranging from single dwelling units, commercial buildings, small industrial units, schools, churches and other facilities.

Over 600 residents in Embakasi, Nairobi, will be rendered homeless after Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC successfully persuaded the High Court to throw out their petition for encroaching on its power line way-leave.

The residents are among land owners along Saika Estate, Omega, Daylight, Chemichemi and Mwengenye areas in Kayole.

They had moved to court seeking to stop Kenya Power from demolishing their permanent structures ranging from single dwelling units, commercial buildings, small industrial units, schools, churches and other facilities.

This was after the power utility firm in December 2018 issued notices directing them to move to pave way for demolition.

They argued the decision to evict them and demolish their structures was a violation of their rights against discrimination.

The 609 residents through Ms Joyce Cherop told Justice John Mativo that they were entitled to enjoy all rights as legitimate land owners.

Ms Cherop further argued that the demolition plan would violate their individual rights to ownership of property, housing, education and social amenities.

“The intended demolition is without legal basis, unreasonable and motivated by irrelevant consideration," said Ms Cherop.

But Kenya Power through its manager for legal services Emily Kirui opposed the petition and disclosed that the residents had filed multiple suits in the Environment and Land Court seeking similar orders, and therefore termed their petition an abuse of court process.

Kenya Power lawyer Samuel Muga also opposed the residents’ suit saying the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

In his ruling, justice Mativo said he had noted the similarity in the two suits and the reliefs sought, saying they were substantiality similar.

The judge accused the residents of concealment of material facts by failing to disclose about other similar suits pending in court.

He said by hiding such materials facts or “attempting to pollute the pure stream of justice, the court not only has the right but a duty to deny relief to such person.”

He said multiplicity of actions on the same matter between the same parties even where there exists right to bring the action, is regarded as an abuse of court process.

“I find that this suit is an abuse of court process,” He ruled.