Bett in court over Sh100m home demolition


By Evelyn Kwamboka

Roads Minister Franklin Bett risks imprisonment for defying a court order that stopped demolition of a Sh100 million house in Spring Valley, Nairobi.

The minister is accused of defying the order in July last year when he demolished a house belonging to businessman Mike Maina Kamau on allegations that it was on a road reserve.

Responding to summons issued by the High Court, the minister Tuesday appeared before Lady Justice Jeanne Gacheche, where he denied disobeying the order.

"I was only served with the court order when the demolition was going on," he said.

The minister said he did not refer to individuals abusing court orders but to those using the orders to perpetuate illegalities.

He said this when being cross-examined by Kamau’s advocate, Mr Ochieng Oduol.

Playing of DVDs

The minister opposed a move by the businessman to play DVDs recorded during the demolition.

The DVDs from two national television stations were to be played to show the veracity of the minister’s testimony. Representing the minister, Senior State Counsel Wanjiku Mbiyu said the DVD should not be played because his client does not know if the tapes produced by Oduol in court came from the two media houses.

"We reviewed the tape and feel it was edited. We need experts to guide us because the DVDs are not in their original raw copies," she said.

She said there is need for the makers of the DVDs to be cross-examined in court.

On his part, Oduol said this was an effort by the minister to scuttle playing of the DVDs in court.

The judge adjourned the case to today.