13 December 2018

Kenya Railways Barred From Evicting Squatters on Mombasa Land

Squatters in Bangladesh, Kwa Punda and Birikani in Mombasa were reprieved on Thursday by a court's decision to bar Kenya Railways Corporation from giving their land to a transport company.

Justice Anne Omollo, of the Environment and Land Court, issued conservatory orders retraining KRC from granting possession of the un-surveyed land in Bangladesh to Sibed Transport Company, pursuant to a purported lease agreement.

NO EVICTIONS

The judge also restrained the company from evicting the residents or interfering with use of the land as a playground and a collection point for water distributed to them.

The orders will stand until a case by Father Gabriel Dolan is determined.

Fr Dolan sued KRC and the transport company on behalf of the squatters, saying the corporation denied the people the right to acquire the land to secure their economic and social rights.

Lawyer Francis Mwakireti told the court that the priest, on behalf of the residents, requested the KRC in 2009 to allocate them the land for purposes of building a secondary school.

According to the petitioner, KRC rejected the request in a letter, on grounds that the land had been sold.

"There has been interest and purported engagements between the County Government of Mombasa and the Bangladesh community in respect to acquiring the land to build a high school in line with public interest," Fr Dolan's application states.

THE CASE

Mr Mwakireti further argues that in October, Father Dolan found out that the corporation leased the land to the transport company despite its contention in 2009 that the land had already been sold.

He says the KRC acted arbitrarily - without following procedures set out in the Constitution, the KRC Act and the State Corporation Act.

The petitioner says that on October 8, the chief of Birikani sub-location summoned some residents at the behest of the transport company to appear in her office on allegations of trespassing. They were reportedly asked to leave.

Fr Dolan says the transport company started putting up a perimeter wall around so it is likely that the people will be evicted and caused to suffer irreparable damage.

Fr Dolan, an Executive Director of Haki Yetu organisation, further says in his affidavit says that the land is also used for public meetings.

He wants a declaration that the allocation of the land by the KRC to the transport company, and the purported lease agreement, were unconstitutional, illegal, null and void from the beginning.

Fr Dolan also wants the corporation directed to obtain the consent of the lands minister to surrender the land for the construction of the school.

Fr Dolan's case will be heard on February 11.

Kenya

Jubilee - We Didn't Use Dirty Tricks in 2017 Poll

Jubilee won't apologise for the way it conducted its 2017 campaigns and its engagement with Cambridge Analytica's parent… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Nation

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.