High Court stops Kariobangi North Estate demolitions

High Court stops Kariobangi North Estate demolitions

The High Court has stopped further demolitions at Kariobangi North Estate in Nairobi until a petition by residents is heard and determined.

The court, in a conservatory order issued on Friday, said the matter will be heard via video link before Justice Samson Okong’o on June 2, 2020.

More than 5,000 people who were living in Kariobangi North estate were early this month left homeless after the government demolished their houses to reclaim the land.

The evictions were carried in spite of a court order barring the exercise, compounding the problems faced by the residents most of whom have been struggling to survive especially in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The demolitions, supervised by police, were carried out by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company.

While the government maintained that the demolitions were done after expiration of an earlier notice to vacate the land, the residents claimed they were ordered to leave the area abruptly on May 5 by local administrators.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja later led his colleagues in demanding compensation for the evicted families from the State terming the action as “totally inhumane and ill advised.”

His Elgeyo Marakwet Kipchumba Murkomen echoed his sentiments, with Makueni’s Mutula Kilonzo slamming the government for committing what he termed as “human rights violations.”

The government on May 8 suspended the exercise following a meeting chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on the backdrop of public uproar.