High Court orders for the demolition of Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Kajiado

Rev Ezekiel Muraya Murage in charge of PCEA Kitengela addressing the media after the ruling. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

A Kajiado high court has ruled that a Multi-Million facility owned by the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) be demolished.

In a virtual case ruling between the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and PCEA Foundation  Justice Maxwell  Gicheru on Thursday, ruled that the two-acre piece of land in which the complex stands was acquired illegally by the church and should be demolished.

The entire infrastructure around the 2-acre piece of Land is worth more than half a billion shillings. with a modern church, a primary school, and Sacco offices

''The land in question was acquired illegally and fraudulently, I, therefore, rule that the occupants vacate the place within sixty days'' read part of the ruling.

He said since September 1991 no court or land tribunal has ever nullified that the government had acquired the land legally.

Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Kajiado. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

According to the court documents, the church is said to have acquired the land in 2002.

Judge Gicheru ruled that the original owner of the land was dully compensated for the land and wherefore the land belonged to EPZA.

However, the church has vowed to move to the Court of Appeal to try and overturn the ruling.

Tension remained high at the church, as worshipers and pupils followed the proceedings on giant screens inside the church.

'' Today is a dark day for all our members and the entire church, our documents are all in order, we are surprised by this judgment, we will therefore seek other alternative ways to challenge the decision Elder Peter Mwangi, church chairman.

Rev Ezekiel Murage, in charge of Kitengela parish, appealed to the worshipers to stay putt as the church management worked on modalities that would lead them in overturning the court ruling.

''I'm appealing to all our members not to panic, we are sure and truthfully that we used the legal ways to acquire this piece of land, therefore let's continue fighting for justice to be done'' said Rev Murage.

In a statement released to the worshipers through their lawyer Njogu Muigai, the church has fought numerously for the said land for almost nine years.

''We took this case on 20 May 2014 and for the last 9 years, we fought numerous applications and eventually secured a peaceful moment for worship for the 2000 members of PCEA Kitengela and the environs. That not forgetting the over 600 pupils who attend Kitengela township primary school'' said Mungai.

The EPZA was fighting for a small fraction of the area around the tank. But in the wisdom of the court, a nullity declaration of the entire piece of land was made consequently affecting the whole title. 

''As a member of the church we used millions of resources to build the sanctuary and the school. Half a billion contributed by thousands of ardent/fervent churchgoers, humble contributions from the downtrodden and numerous others who tithed hard to meet religious goals'' said the lawyer.

He said it is evident that their overwhelming evidence and credible legal thought were ignored or frowned upon or even magically tilted by thought or other forces.

He noted that while an appeal in the court of appeal will most likely overturn the judgment,