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Woodley tenants drag NMS to court

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and Woodley Estate tenants are headed for a clash over the redevelopment of the old county estate.

This comes after the tenants moved to court seeking to stop the planned redevelopment of the county estate until all issues surrounding ownership of the estate are dealt with.

Consequently, the tenants have said they will not attend a planned public participation forum on the project planned scheduled for Monday.

Last week, NMS called for views from tenants of county rental houses to be affected by the planned redevelopment of 10 old Nairobi County estates with public participation to begin Monday, February 8, 2021 at Joseph Kang’ethe Social Hall in Woodley.

However, the tenants through the Woodley Residents Welfare Society (WRWS), have said they will not attend the said public participation claiming NMS did not follow the correct procedure on public participation.

The tenants also allege that the Major General Mohamed Badi-led administration failed to take into account the adverse effects that the redevelopment would have on residents.

“Further to our earlier communication, the Woodley Residents Welfare Society (WRWS) has now moved to court to seek orders to stay the intended redevelopment planned by the NMS until all issues surrounding ownership are dealt with,” read in part communication from the tenants.

“Following consultation with the WRWS appointed legal counsel, led by our internal legal team, they have provided clear guidance that residents should not participate in this meeting as doing so will be sub judice,” added the statement.

The residents’ committee further advised its members to refrain from engaging externally on the matter due to the “sensitivities of this matter and the fact that it is currently in court”.

“The Woodley Residents Housing Committee is following this matter up and will also be the main contact for all external and media engagement. Any queries may be directed to that team. We therefore wish to advise residents to avoid this meeting.”

In a February 5, 2021 letter to Maj-Gen Badi, the tenants complained that the expression of interest advertisement by NMS did not include any element of or an avenue for public participation or involvement by the residents.

“The outlined process totally ignores the question of public participation as there is no reference at all on the issue of involvement either by consultation or an invitation of our client to any meeting to agree of listen to them. This lack of consultation clearly breaches our client’s constitutional rights and guarantees,” read the letter by S Ndege & Company Advocates.