, NAIROBI, Kenya. Jun 26 – Over 610 homeowners in Nairobi’s Embakasi have moved to court seeking orders to stop the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) from demolishing their houses on said to have encroached on wayleave set aside for the utility firm’s expansion plans.
Joyce Cherop, one of the applicants, told Justice John Mativo that KPLC has earmarked properties in Daylight area near Saika Estate for demolition.
Other properties earmarked for demolition are in Omega, Chemi Chemi and Mwenyenyi, all located in Embakasi.
The court heard through their lawyer Shadarack Wambui that the said properties have been developed and consist of construction ranging from single housing units, commercial buildings, and small industrial units, which the court is being asked to protect.
“The intended demolition of the applicants’ suit properties by KPLC is without legal basis, unreasonable and motivated by irrelevant consideration divorced from fairness,” the lawyer said.
Shadarack prayed that, the court should issue an order maintaining the status quo, to allow the court to determine the application.
However, the application for prohibition orders was opposed by Counsel Samuel Muga appearing for KPLC on grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The lawyer submitted that even leave to commence the proceedings should not be allowed, since there is similar application pending before the Environment and Land Court which has not been finalized.
The application raises similar issues where an injunction against KPLC was not granted.
The judge said that he will not proceed to hear the application for conservatory orders until the issue of jurisdiction is argued on July 3 and a determination made by the court.
The applicants have sought to quash an unwritten notice by KPLC threatening to demolish their properties which include flats, schools and churches without following due process.
The allegation that the properties are on a corridor set aside for transmission lines has not been established by all parties involved, the applicants argued terming the move to demolish their properties unconstitutional.
They said the way leave is inimical to the constitutional principles of fairness and violates the petitioners’ individual rights to ownership of property.