SECTIONS

Auctioneer loses bid to stop his jailing for contempt in house demolition case

Zachariah Baraza wanted to stop Environment and Land Court Judge Oscar Angote from sentencing him for contempt of court. [iStockphoto]

An auctioneer’s attempt to stop the court from punishing him for contempt over the demolition of a couple’s house in Westlands has failed.

Zachariah Baraza wanted to stop Environment and Land Court Judge Oscar Angote from sentencing him for contempt of court after invading and destroying the house belonging to Niraj and Avani Shah, but the judge ruled his application lacked merit.

“His claims that this court has no jurisdiction to sentence him for contempt are misplaced. The court will be abetting injustice to the complainants if it fails to take action against the auctioneer for the injustice meted on the victims,” ruled Angote.

The decision means Baraza will be sentenced for up to two years in jail or a fine of Sh1 million for forcefully evicting and demolishing the couple’s home in Westlands despite a court order stopping the eviction.

Justice Angote had found Baraza guilty of contempt and summoned him to appear in court for sentencing on Thursday last week.

However, Baraza objected, arguing that the environment and land court had no jurisdiction to handle contempt cases