Court: City Hall defied 2018 orders barring subdivision of Jamhuri Estate land

"The council had an obligation to maintain the open spaces within Jamhuri Estate in accordance with the physical development plan for the area but not to allocate it," she said.

The judge looked at the maps of the estate. She said there were plots indicated as J which had been marked. The plots, the judge said, were not in the initial plan.

"From the plan, it is clear that at the time the estate was developed the plots denoted as J were not in existence, otherwise they would have been given land registration numbers similar to those of the existing houses," she said.

The case was filed by James Chege and Catherine Marete against Emma Murai and others as representatives of the Jamhuri Estate association.

Allocated land

Chege and Marete said they had purchased the contested property from Pancras Ndung'u Karori at Sh360,000 after he was allocated the plot by the county.

They told the court that the residents in the estate stormed their plots and destroyed the work that had been done on the trenches.

According to the two, they reported the issue to the police but no action was taken.

In response, Murai and estate officials accused the county of breaching its contract by issuing allotment letters for initial open spaces to third parties.

The court heard that the county had created J1 to J53 from all the open spaces meant for public utilities and sold the same.

The court heard that the county had in 1968 created 24 blocks of terraced mansionettes plots on which 156 mansionettes were built covering 22.96 acres. The other parts were meant for parking, lawns and playing grounds.

However, the county went ahead to illegally carve out 53 plots from the open spaces.

The officials lamented that the county had breached its end of the bargain as their contract dictated that no further development would be conducted in their buildings.

James Muriuki, the chair of Jamhuri Estate residents' welfare, was the star witness in the case. He testified that the county had gone ahead to allocate even the footpaths within the estate.

According to the association, Chege and Marete ought to have sued the person who sold to them the property.

The court heard that there was no approval obtained from the then minister of Local Government before the county changed tune.

Justice Bor dismissed Chege's and Marete's case.