Environment

Supremacy wars: Did the executive subvert the Judiciary yet again?

A block of houses being demolished as against an issued court order prohibiting the demolition [Photo: Twitter]

In a recent social media rant by Mr. Nelson Havi, the Kenyan government has been vehemently reprimanded for ignoring and disregarding directions given by a court of law.

In the communication posted on his twitter platform the outspoken president of the Law Society of Kenya castigated the government for overseeing the eviction of over 8000 families in Kariobangi, Nairobi County from plot L.R No Nairobi/ Block. 175.

Intricacies from the social media post by head of the cohort of advocates in Kenya revealed that veteran lawyer Dr John Khaminwa had managed a rare feat of convincing the High court to sit on a Sunday through a special permission letter dated May 3,2020 that had been granted by Chief Justice David Maraga.

Intricacies of the matter at the Environment and Land court at Nairobi that was before Hon Justice S Okong’o revealed that through a Notice of Motion and a supporting affidavit the self help groups advocate, Mr Khaminwa had successfully been granted a court order restraining the CS of Lands and Physical Planning as Well as the CS Water Sanitation and irrigation from evicting the petitioners from the said plot.

However, in the wake of the court orders, on Monday May 4, 2020 orange backhoe loader tractors of the famous Hitachi make were spotted in the said land carrying out illegal demolitions of property as a way of cowing the rest of the the occupiers into moving out of the land.

In the Notice of Motion application before the ELC court,

Kariobangi Sewerage Farmers Self Help Group petitioned against the Cabinet Secretary Water Sanitation and Irrgiation, Ms Sicily Kariuki , Cabinet Secretary of Lands and Physical Planning, Ms Farida Karoney , Deputy Police Commissioner (Kasarani Region), County of Nairobi, Registrar of Titles, Chief Land Registrar and The Attorney General against plans to forcefully evict them from land property number L.R No.Nairobi/Block/175 pending hearing and the determination of the application inter-partes.

Through a supporting affidavit by Isaak Abdi Adan, chairman of the Kariobangi farmers Self Help Group, the petitioners asserted that they had been allocated the contested land by the Nairobi County Government. However, on April 22, 2019 the petitioners had been served with an eviction letter from both the Cabinet Secretary of Lands and Physical Planning as well as the Nairobi County government informing them that they would be evicted from the land and as such they needed to evacuate from the land.

“The applicants had legitimate  expectation that once the property had been allocated to them they would have exclusive rights to use the land ,” said the chairman.

This recent developments raise eyebrows and perhaps a situation of there’s more to this than meets the eye. Did the executive chest-thump their way out of a court order?

It is not the first time that the executive has disregarded court orders. Mahakamani news recently highlighted Miguna MIguna plight against the state. Of course, the list is longer. Nonetheless, this escalates the tension between the judiciary and the executive.

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