Couple's home brought down in forced eviction

Avani Shah, the owner of the demolished house looks at the rubble of what used to be her home at Spring Valley in Nairobi. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Broken furniture, heaps of floor tiles and shattered panes of glass.

That is what one sees in the compound of Avani Shah and her husband Niraj Shah on School Lane in Nairobi’s Spring Valley suburb.

The Shahs are now strangers in what used to be their home for more than 20 years. They inherited the home from one of their parents who died in 2010.

Their four-bedroomed bungalow on a one acre is no more - it was flattened by people hired to forcibly evict the couple because of a land dispute. The eviction squad invaded the home on Friday.

“While driving home from work, I passed over 30 people walking towards our home without knowing they were going to target my house,’’ said Avani. “I entered the compound, closed the gate but and few minutes later, some people jumped over the gate, broke the padlock and let in others.’’ 

She said they broke in to the house and one Zacharia Barasa told her he had come to evict them.

The four-bedroomed bungalow on a one acre is no more. [Samson Wire, Standard]

‘‘I asked him on what grounds and he said Lariak Properties Ltd had bought the house from Metro Pharmaceuticals Ltd,” she said.

Her attempts to reach out to officers at Parklands, Gigiri and Spring Valley police stations to stop the people from destroying their property, failed.

The people were breaking their furniture, throwing some items out of the house and loading others in to a lorry. The place became a no go-zone for the media and the police as the invaders took control until yesterday. 

Metro Pharmaceuticals Ltd is owned by her husband’s company while Lariak Properties was registered in 2002 and has four directors: Nathaniel Kipkemboi Barmasai, Samuel K Chepkwony, John Kimaiyo Rotich and Joel Kipchirchir Kiplangat. Lariak ignored a notice by Nairobi City County and a court order issued on November 3, 2022 by Milimani Commercial Court principal magistrate H M Ng’ang’a directing that the Shahs should not be evicted.

The court document Barasa had on Friday is dated October 18, 2022 and is signed by the same magistrate.

It has four orders and one of them cautions that it should not be interpreted as an eviction order.

One of the orders also directs Parklands or Spring Valley Police Station OCSs to ensure the compliance of the orders.

The four-bedroomed bungalow on a one acre is no more. [Samson Wire, Standard]

‘‘I don’t know what to do anymore. This has been my home, my parents were born here same as me and my children and I love this country but how can I love it when it can’t even protect me as its citizen,’’ said Avani, who is a Kenyan of Asian extraction.

She said Metro Pharmaceuticals Ltd has no link with Lariak Properties Ltd.

‘‘I used to call this my home until Friday morning. This is what happens when rogue auctioneers like Zacharia Barasa come into your premises and destroy your property without proper orders,’’ said Niraj.

‘‘This property was owned by my late father and the title deed is in his name and we do not owe any group or company money.”

He said the lease for the property was renewed in 1998 and is valid for 50 years.