Company seeks to kick out 1,000 squatters from land - Daily Nation

Company seeks to kick out 1,000 squatters from land

Wednesday January 18 2017

Justice George Odunga. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Justice George Odunga. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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A company associated with Uchumi Supermarkets Ltd wants the High Court to set aside orders issued last December barring police from evicting over 1,000 squatters from its 40-acre parcel of land valued at over Sh2 billion.

Kasarani Mall Limited (KML) says the squatters had misled High Court Judge Justice George Odunga into believing that they have been in occupation of the land in dispute for over 30 years.

“The squatters through their representatives misrepresented to Mr Justice Odunga on December 22, 2016 that they were in active control of the land LR No 5875/2 situated at Roysambu along Thika Super Highway within Nairobi County,” lawyer Hilda Nkatha Kunyanga for KML says in the case filed under a certificate of urgency on Wednesday.

Ms Kunyanga says the land in dispute belongs to KML and is registered in its name.

“There are no Squatters on the land contrary to allegations by Messrs Francis Kiarie, Francis Kinuthia and Kamiti Wanjira who are officials of Njathaini Electricity Project-Roysambu,” she says.

The officials, through their lawyer told Justice Odunga that squatters who have been in occupation of the land for over 30 have developed it and they were facing imminent danger of being evicted during Christmas holiday as Police from Kasarani Police Division had been posted to the land to supervise their removal.

Justice Odunga then stopped their impending eviction saying “it was unconstitutional.”

But now KML says as a result of the said misrepresentations the court issued orders prohibiting the Inspector-General of Police (IG) through his officers at Kasarani Police Stations from evicting the squatters.

KML says there are two conflicting orders in respect of the said land since on July 17, 2012 Lady Justice Rose Ougo had restrained the squatters from trespassing into the said land.

“Pending the determination of the case filed by KML, an injunction is hereby issued against the squatters or anyone from trespassing, entering and or committing any acts of waste or damage to the property or alienate it anyway,” Justice Ougo had ordered.

The judge directed the Officer Commanding Kasarani Police Station to ensure compliance of the orders and also protect the property.

“It’s on the strength of these orders that the IG through Kasarani Police Station is keeping vigil on the suit property,” KML says in its case.

“The two orders (of Ougo and Odunga) cannot be concurrently enforceable unless the court directs status quo be maintained,” they argued.

KML also wants the court to uphold the orders of July 17, 2012 prohibiting illegal invaders on its land.

KML says it will suffer irreparable damage unless the case is heard expeditiously.

The squatters say the land was acquired by the Government 32 years ago for occupation by the Kenya Army but later transferred fraudulently to private companies.

The land was formerly owned by a foreigner, Mr Mayer Jacob, who died on December 25, 1974 and is now registered in the name of Kasarani Mall Limited.

“Upon the death of Mayer Jacob, letters of administration were granted to Raphael Jacob Samuel and Meshumor Jacob Samuel but in 1985 the then District Officer Northern Division Kasarani indicated the Government intended to acquire it for use by the Kenya Army,” Justice Odunga was told.

The case is listed for hearing January 24.