Judge orders eviction of residents from hospital land

Houses on the land belonging to late businessman Gerishon Kirima in Chokaa, Mihang'o and Njiru in Nairobi. A court ruled that all illegal inhabitants vacate the land by December 31, 2023. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Another round of demolition is looming for homeowners near Narok County Referral Hospital.

This is after the Environment and Lands Court declared that the titles of those living in the land were irregularly acquired.

Justice Charles Mbogo ruled that the people occupying the land around the hospital have no valid titles.

 Mbogo gave the county government of Narok permission to evict and demolish the homes and residential buildings around the hospital.

“The land was public land allocated for the expansion of the hospital in 1985. There is no evidence to show it was available for alienation for private use from the county government or whether the purchasers had confirmed they followed due process in acquiring the land,” ruled Mbogo.

The decision comes a few days after the Environment and Lands Court in Machakos ordered the eviction of squatters from land in Athi River owned by East Africa Portland Cement.

It also comes after a Nairobi court ordered squatters to vacate the 1,000-acre piece of land owned by the late politician Gerishon Kirima.

Justice Mbogo made the decision in a case filed by Godfrey Mutua who claimed that he was one of the people who had been duped into purchasing the land belonging to the hospital.

Mutua, in his suit, claimed he bought the property from Patricia Sangriaki in 2007 who was the initial owner of the plot having been allocated by the government.

He then applied for an allotment letter and went ahead to construct a residential flat.

Mutua submitted that he was in quiet possession of the property until April 2021 when the then Narok Governor Samuel Tunai issued an ultimatum to property owners around the hospital to vacate or face forceful eviction and demolition of their houses.

Residents watch helplessly as houses are demolished at the controversial land that belongs to the East African Portland Cement Company in Athi River on October 16, 2023. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

Justice Mbogo however ruled that Mutua and other landowners around the hospital had no claim to the land since they did not follow the right steps in acquiring the public land.

“There are steps to follow before acquiring a public land which was not done. It would have been proper for him to show the government land had been changed for private use or even provide evidence of government minutes indicating the area had been identified for disposal,” he ruled.

According to the judge, the county government of Narok had provided a development plan approved in 1985 which showed that the land in dispute was allocated for the hospital.

He added that if indeed the government wanted to dispose of the land, they would have issued a gazette notice to the public announcing the intention to dispose of the property and the plots sold by way of public auction.

“It is only then that they would have been issued with an allotment letter which again is not capable of conferring an interest in land, being nothing more than an offer, awaiting the fulfilment of the conditions stipulated therein by the government,” the judge said.

Justice Mbogo stated that before purchasing the plots, the buyers needed to be sure the sellers had obtained all the documents to show that the property was available for alienation for private use.

He declared that the landowners around the hospital had no business dealing with the properties and ordered them to vacate or be evicted.