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Traders with Sh200 million investments get court reprieve on eviction

Posted on 5th Feb 2018 09:55:15 in

NAIROBI, KENYA: A judgment by Justice G.V Odunga has come to the rescue of over 1,000 traders who were facing eviction by the Nairobi County from their business premises.

The judgment quashed an order by Nairobi City County that gave the traders less than 72 hours to vacate the plots of land around Commonwealth cemetery located in Kariokor.

Justice Odunga also issued an order prohibiting the County administration from evicting the traders. Odunga said the County order dated July 6, 2017 was ‘tainted and with procedural impropriety.’

In the order of eviction, the County claimed the traders had set up illegal structures on the Commonwealth Cemetery Kariokor Land Ref L.R. No 209/6738.

The traders were therefore required to remove the said illegal structures immediately, reinstate said portion of land to its original state and vacate the land immediately within a period of 72 hours.

According to the Applicant (Kiscoba Association) being represented by chair John Maina and Organizing Secretary James Ndiba, the County Government officials did not give any reasons for requiring the applicant’s members to vacate the premises. See Also: Governor Mike Sonko wants all city buildings repainted

The traders, who comprise of juakali artisans in various businesses like food kiosks, garages, spare part shops, timber yards, and machinery repairs, added that some of them were given leases and letters of allotment that last for 99 years and they use the premises as residence for their families where schools and churches have been put up.

They said they have always made the required payments of architectural approvals, annual rent, survey fees and approval fees on constructions.

“They have invested over Sh200 million for the last 30 years, and have never been called by the respondent Nairobi City County for a meeting or discussion involving their occupation of the land,” read the judgment in part.

In their counter argument, the County rubbished the claims insisting that the application should be declared defective as the Association(Kiscoba) failed to demonstrate that it has authority over the 1,000 traders to warrant representation.

Also, that the allotment letter purportedly issued has no relationship with the disputed land parcel against which the notice of eviction was issued.

The County insisted that the enforcement notice issued against the property known as L.R. 209/6738 was issued in accordance with the Physical Planning Act, Cap. 296, Laws of Kenya.