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Starehe Civil Servants Lose Bid to Prevent Eviction Again

Kenya’s Civil servants from Starehe and Shauri Moyo estate have for the second time lost a bid to stop the government from ejecting them from their houses.

In May, Justice John Mativo dismissed a petition in which the civil servants sought orders to block the Lands ministry from evicting them to pave way for the construction of 10,000 new housing units. The judge said they had not satisfied the grounds for the court to issue the orders sought.

The civil servants sought a stay of the court’s decision pending an intended appeal. Yesterday, High Court judge Wilfrida Okwany said the civil servants failed to demonstrate they are not able to secure alternative accommodation.

Okwany said it was not enough for the civil servants to state they had school going children and disabled persons in the suit premises and that substantial loss will result. “They needed to prove specific details and particulars regarding the same,” she said.

“I find that the relationship between the applicants and the respondents is akin to the relationship between a landlord and a tenant which means that a tenant cannot stop a landlord from taking over his building and carrying out construction work thereon as long as the tenant is given adequate notice to vacate the premises,” she said.

Sh3,000-Sh5,000

It was the civil servant’s case that an eviction will adversely affect the school going children, elderly and disabled who live on the premises, causing them a substantial loss.

But Okwany said no material was placed before the court to show the schoolgoing children and disabled persons actually resided on the premises. “Even assuming the said group actually existed, that would not form sufficient grounds for issuance of the orders of stay because the applicants had already been served with notices to vacate which means they had adequate notice and opportunity to secure alternative accommodation for themselves and their families,” she said.

The civil servants, led by Justus Muthumbi and Timothy Wanyanga, wanted the state to give them alternative houses before the current ones are demolished. They said they have been residing in the low-cost houses and paying a monthly rent of between Sh3,000 and Sh5,000.

The Civil Servants Housing Scheme has stalled since its launch in 2014 following the civil servants’ refusal to vacate. The plan involves building 2,000 houses in Shauri Moyo estate, 6,400 houses in Starehe and 1,800 units in Park Road.

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