Blow for Pangani residents as court fails to stop demolition


It is a blow for over a dozen tenants of Pangani Estate after the High Court dismissed their application seeking to stop demolition of their houses.

The application was dismissed by Environment and Land Court judge K. Bor for want of prosecution.

“The County government under the urban housing renewal and regeneration policy wishes to redevelop, renew, refurbish and renovate “old estates” in Nairobi city and has identified Pangani Estate where the plaintiffs live as tenants as one the estates to be redeveloped,” reads court papers.

Among estates identified by the county government include bachelors/Jeevanjee Estate, Ngong road Estate, Old Ngara Estate, Pangani Estate, Uhuru Estate and New Ngara.

The tenants include Jushua Murkinnie Amaswache, John Kaumbuthu, George Magore, Ramesh Rajput, Aisha Mohammed, Lena Katu, Mohammed Waiss, Amit Ghosh, Pascal Misawa, Yaya Omar, Nick Koto, Jack Onyango and Josephine Muthui.

The county government intends to construct high density multi-storey flats consisting of 24 floors of cluster of one, two and three bedroom each. There will be four blocks and the proposed units are 1152 and the units will house families exceeding 1,500.

According to court documents, the 13 plaintiffs claim they have not been consulted over proposed construction but the county government argues that the principal of proportionality (with respect) disentitles the plaintiffs of the reliefs they seek.

The County believes that they can be adequately compensated by damages in the face of the housing hardship facing many Kenyan residents in Nairobi county.

The county refuted claims that the project commenced this year as implied saying that the project was conceived in the government of former Nairobi Governor.

The tenants were seeking the county government to be restrained from evicting or interfering with their occupation of the said houses pending an amicable settlement of the dispute.

They claimed they have lived in the said property since 1956 and they are not rent default but the county in it response denied existence of some tenants on it records.

They claimed a key component of the urban renewal policy is that there must be public participation in the process of renewal and regeneration with the constitution and affected parties and citizen must be given opportunity (especially those to be removed and be resettled) but the county government wish to evict them without their agreement as to the terms of the eviction or settlement.

The judge directed the matter to be mentioned before deputy registrar for pretrial directions.