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Court halts further demolitions in Kariobangi North

The High court on Friday temporarily halted further demolitions in Kariobangi North Estate in Nairobi until a petition filed by residents is heard and determined.

The court said the matter will be heard via video link before Justice Samson Okong’o on June 2.

More than 7,000 people living in Kariobangi North estate were left homeless after their houses were demolished to reclaim land said to belong to the government.

The evictions were carried out by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company despite a court order barring the exercise.

Athi Water Services Board CEO Mwangi Thuita justifed the demolitions saying they had had talks with the tenants for five years since rehabilitation work started at the waste treatment plant.

However, a number of the affected residents claimed they were not given any written notice, and that the area administrator and police boss only issued a verbal notice on the Sunday before they were focefully evicted.

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

On May 8 the national government suspended further demolitions after public uproar following a closed-door meeting chaired by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.