County suffer blow after court suspend a notice to evict tenants

The county has been stopped from evicting tenants of Kimathi Estate.

Yesterday, Justice Mary Oundo of the Land court issued temporary orders restraining the devolved unit from implementing a notice it had issued to the 78 tenants of the estate.

The latter dated June 28 and signed by the Director of Revenue had given them 15 days to pay rent arrears, failure to which the county would reposes the houses.

"The revenue office has no desire to cause hardship to anyone, but if payment will not have been made, a notice to repose the same will be issued and served by a sub-county revenue officer,” part of the letter read in part.

The residents, under the umbrella of Kimathi Tenants Welfare Group had sued the devolved government in 2016 on allegations of allowing unplanned development in the estate.

They complained that the government allowed huge unplanned development such as establishment of garages, churches and scrap metal dealers be set up near their dwelling places.

“Due to negligence of its role, the county has forced the tenants to clear the bush, maintain the road, paint houses, provide burglar-proof to their houses which are the defendant exclusive roles,” they said.

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In granting the orders to suspend the notice, Lady Justice Oundo noted it was important for the court to preserve the suit property which is part of exhibit.

“Orders are hereby temporarily issued restraining the defendant/ respondent from evicting the tenants until interparties hearing on July 25,” she said.

She further directed the tenants to serve the county with the orders within three days.

Through their lawyer Gichimu Muhoho, the tenants had told the court they were apprehensive of eviction after expiry of the notice which lapsed today.

In their suit papers, the residents also say they had been tenants of the defunct municipal council for over 30 years.

The houses are part of the oldest blocks put up by the National Housing Corporation in Nyeri.

They now want a permanent injunction restraining the county from further allocating any public land in the estate to individuals or entities without consulting them.

They also seek an order directing the government to offer them first priority and preference to own those premises and the entire estate in view of the many years they have lived in the area.

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Kimathi EstateNational Housing CorporationEviction