google978c4e921fe1bd28.html

15000 Mitumba slum dwellers win land suit against the goverment

Some of the 15,000 Mitumba slum dwellers at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi Thursday. The government was directed to resettle them after the demolition of their houses by the Kenya Airports Authority near Wilson Airport in November 2011

Some of the 15,000 Mitumba slum dwellers at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi Thursday. The government was directed to resettle them after the demolition of their houses by the Kenya Airports Authority near Wilson Airport in November 2011

The High Court in Milimani Thursday directed the government to resettle over 15,000 residents of an informal settlement in Nairobi pending their compensation.

A judge faulted the State for failing to address the plight of the slum dwellers before they were flushed out without a word on their compensation and resettlement.

Bulldozers came

There was also a court order stopping the demolitions at Mitumba slums near Wilson Airport when the State bulldozers came rolling, the judge said.

“The upshot of my findings is that it was a clear case of violation of human rights following the November 19 2011 demolition of the village, which was also carried out despite a stay order where a whole community was deprived of its residence and business premises,” Lady Justice Ngugi Mumbi said in her judgment Thursday.

She said the State must now ensure the relief of the affected families since the demolition was “irregular and illegal.”

“Forceful eviction without re-allocation was illegal, it went against our Constitution and affected access to education water, healthcare amongst other basic human needs,” the judge observed.

She said that Article 10 of the Constitution sets out the national values and principles of governance that bind all State officers — equity, inclusiveness, non-discrimination, good governance and accountability.

The judge said the state was “fully” duty bound to safeguard the interests of minorities as it was a signatory to the protection of social rights and its agents are presumed to be fully aware of “this obligation.”

The state, the judge said, ought to address the rights of its citizens in accordance with equitable socio-ecomomic policies.

Judge Mumbi directed the Attorney-General, the Kenya Airports Authority and the Commissioner of Lands, who were respondents in the petition challenging the eviction, to provide within 60 days, a policy on the resettlement programme for the “marginalised group.”

“They must also furnish that policy and programme to the petitioners and other civil rights groups to facilitate the arrival at an appropriate resolution,” she said.

She directed the parties to engage the petitioners in identifying an appropriate solution and file an affidavit within 90 days.

Song and dance from hundreds of petitioners rocked the Milimani Law Court grounds after the judgment.

The 15,325 petitioners under the banner Mitubell Welfare Society, were represented city lawyer Mbuthia Kinyanjui. They had told the court they had deed plans from the lands office indicating how the plots they occupied were earmarked and issued with file numbers for Mitumba Primary School and their village.

“The petitioners have over time sought the indulgence of the Commissioner of Lands with a view of being issued with the requisite title documents in vain,” Mr Kinyanjui said.

Comments

comments

%d bloggers like this: