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Muthurwa houses to be demolished, court orders

By MAUREEN KAKAH

Tenants of Nairobi’s Muthurwa’s estate have lost a bid to stop the Kenya Railways Corporation from demolishing their houses. The High Court ruled that they have to vacate the premises in four months.

Justice Isaac Lenaola ordered that the residents should vacate on or before April 30, 2016. The 359 residents had said they would be rendered homeless if the eviction was carried out.

They had sued the corporation, its staff retirement benefits scheme and the Attorney-General in October 2010.

The judge’s verdict comes after his earlier ruling last year in which he declared that Kenya Railways had violated the residents’ rights to accessible housing and ordered its managing trustee to hold meetings with them in 21 days to come up with a programme for their eviction as required by law.

The judge had then given the State 90 days to file case documents detailing the measures it has put in place towards realisation of the right to accessible and adequate housing as well as sanitation.

EVICTION

He had tasked the State to further explain the existing policies and legal framework of eviction and demolitions in Kenya in line with international standards.

But while delivering his verdict on Friday, he said the parties had failed to agree and cooperate with his August 26, 2013 ruling yet an end to the long legal battle must be reached.

“It seems to me that goodwill does not exist among any of the parties in this litigation. It is close to two years since then and the opportunity to amicably address the date and conditions of eviction has been lost, the residents are, hereby, ordered to vacate the said premise,” ruled Justice Lenaola.

The judge, however, upheld his earlier terms of the eviction but gave another 60 days to the State to provide the information requested.