Residents of Embakasi Village estate in Nairobi have a reason to smile after they were saved from paying undue rent to the Nairobi County Government which purported to own houses that had been allocated to them by their employer.
In a court ruling on Wednesday, May 5, the High Court also barred City Hall from trespassing, evicting, or dealing with any occupancy matters related to the estate that contains 42 houses.
The estate houses Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) employees and other civil servants who used to work at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.Kenya Airports Authority head office
Justice J.M Onyango also ordered Nairobi County Government to pay KAA Ksh1.5 million in punitive damages for having trespassed and collected undue rent for a number of years.
“Consequently the plaintiff sufficiently proved that the defendant had trespassed onto its property and is therefore entitled to the reliefs sought in the plaint,” the judge ruled.
The court heard that the land was allocated to KAA in 1958 but in January 1998, city council officials stormed the estate and threatened to evict the residents unless they started paying rent.
The matter was solved by consent but seven years later, the officials stormed the estate again with the same demands.
City Hall has been on the spot a number of times over the conduct of the county officials in matters regarding housing programs.
Recently, the County Assembly of Nairobi raised concerns that officials were harassing residents in county estates despite the waiver of rent payments by former Governor Mike Sonko.
Kayole Central MCA Jeremiah Themendu complained that tenants continued to receive threats of eviction and harassment from Nairobi County government employees on pending rent arrears.
Arrears owed to the County Governments of Nairobi by residents hit Ksh224 million in 2020.
The county government has more than 16,000 houses and plans are already underway to upgrade them into modern buildings.Nairobi County Askaris on a routine patrol.
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