High Court Dismisses An Application To Halt Construction Of 7000 Housing Units

by Mahakamani News

The government can now go ahead and construct over 7,000 housing units in Shauri Moyo, Starehe constituency,

High Court dismissed an application to have the plan stayed pending appeal.

Justice Wilfrida Adhiambo Okwany ruled that the relationship between the parties is that of a landlord and a tenant  which means that the tenant cannot stop a landlord from taking over his building and carrying out construction work as long as the tenant is given adequate notice to vacate the premises.

“For the above reason I am not persuaded that the applicants have satisfied the condition on substantial loss to be suffered if the stay pending the appeal is not granted and I find no reason to venture into discussing the last condition for granting of stay order which is the order for security for costs,” said Judge Wilfrida Okwany.

The court further note the over 300 tenants did not demonstrate that they are not able to secure alternative accommodation for themselves and it was not enough for them to merely state that they have school going children and disabled children in the suit premises and that substantial loss will result.

The more than 330 civil servants moved to court in 2014 and obtained orders blocking the Ministry of Lands from ejecting them from their houses in Starehe and Shauri Moyo, to pave way for the construction of the houses.

The proposed project had entitled civil servants to homes of between Sh4 million and Sh25 million to be paid in a period of 20 years.

Investors were to build the units under a public-private partnership in which they would finance construction, operate for some time to recoup their investments and profit before transferring ownership to the State.

During hearing of the stay application the government argued that it had since the year 2014 intended to extend affordable housing to its citizens with full involvement of the applicants in line with the constitution. Adding that the applicants fears of violent evictions were unfounded .

Further the court heard that the allegations that school  going children, the elderly and the disabled would be affected by the evictions were not proved .

“Allowing the application would cause substantial loss to the government as the housing project compromising 10,000 units that the government had initiated in 2014,”argued the respondents.

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