Court stops eviction of over 10,000 families in Embakasi

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The Chief Magistrate’s court has suspended the eviction of over 10,000 families from a disputed property in Embakasi.

Senior Resident Magistrate D. Ombeja stayed the execution of the order after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko moved to court seeking to stop the said eviction by the petitioner Zachariah Baraza T/A Siuma and orbit chemical industries limited.

“The stay of execution of the order made on14th January 2019 and issued on 4th April 2019 in this proceedings is hereby stayed pending inter parte hearing of this application,” ruled Ombeja.

The Governor’s decision was provoked by the DDC meeting held on 23rd May which prompted the Governor to blast Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe on phone.

Nairobi County is listed as an interested party in the suit.

Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, the county government wants to demonstrate that the original applicant, Zachariah Baraza T/A Siuma and orbit chemical industries limited misled the court into issuing eviction orders without jurisdiction and against the express provisions of the land Act.

The court heard that the orders of 14th January 2019 are unlawful and ought to be set aside.

Procedure

According to Kinyanjui, the petitioners failed to follow the procedure in evicting a large number of people for instance advertising notice to evict and give the tenants three months notice.

In an affidavit sworn by the County’s acting Chief Officer, urban planning Ruth Waruguru said the county the government seeks to be enjoined in this proceedings as they stand directly affected by impugned orders of January 19.

Governor Sonko administration is seeking stay orders to hold the status quo in place and protect the innocent victims warped court process by the beneficiaries of the impugned orders and to the intent that justice will be served.

The county government argued the matter is of extreme urgency and ought to be heard expeditiously as Orbit Chemicals have set bulldozers and earth moving machinery on the suit to commence the unlawful eviction using the orders issued by the magistrate.

The court heard that Baraza sought to enforce orders that have since elapsed by effluxion of time (being in excess of 12 years subsequent to their issuance) by reason of which the orders or eviction issued are based on an illegality.

“Baraza and Orbit are abusing the court process when they are seeking to enforce orders ostensively issued within Nairobi HCCMisc.784/1996 which suit ought to have been invoked by original applicant for any execution process and consist of the best forum,” stated the County.

According to an order dated 4th April 2019, the OCS Embakasi Police station was ordered to supervise eviction and enforcement of the alleged illegal order.