The expansion of Malindi airport has run into headwinds after Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) was stopped from evicting 25,000 land owners to pave the way for the development.
High Court judge James Olola issued the order restraining the KAA, the National Lands Commission (NLC), the Attorney-General and the Kenya Police Service after a group of local residents filed a suit to stop compensation to land owners.
“Temporary conservatory order is hereby granted against the respondents from acquiring, surveying, geo referencing, erecting beacons, evicting or dealing with properties in possession of the Petitioners,” ordered the judge.
The government released Sh300 million for compensation, with the land survey and evaluation having started.
But the residents, through their lawyer, Stephen Obaga, argue the compensation process will not be fair until pending cases related to land ownership are heard and determined.
The residents also claim the airport expansion will result into demolition of 4,000 permanent and 2,220 semi-permanent houses, causing them a huge loss.
The airport sits on 100.6 hectares and requires at least 259 hectares to extend the runway from the current 1.4km to 2.5km to boost security and attract direct flights from Europe.