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January 21, 2019

Families sue Muthithi over Kayole evictions, demand compensation

An excavator demolishes buildings in Nyama Villa estate, Kayole, on December 18 last year /VICTOR IMBOTO
An excavator demolishes buildings in Nyama Villa estate, Kayole, on December 18 last year /VICTOR IMBOTO

Families whose houses were demolished at Nyama Villa estate in Kayole have sued Muthithi Investments Limited for compensation.

Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, the families claim Muthithi invaded their properties without giving them an opportunity to salvage valuables.

They said the demolitions left them homeless.

In an affidavit filed at the High Court, the families said they were entitled to reasonable notice before the eviction was carried out.

"We want the court to take up proceedings on compensation due to us for the damage occasioned by the unlawful eviction from our property,”the affidavit says.

The victims said no eviction can be carried out unless a notice of not less than three months is issued and personally served on those expected to vacate.

The houses were demolished in December last year after businessman Peter Maina obtained a court order to evict the occupants from a 20-acre plot where the estate stood.

Maina is the proprietor of Muthithi Investments Ltd and Marble Arch Hotel.

The families said eviction regulations were not strictly followed.

They claimed the eviction order obtained by Maina on September 17 last year could not be enforced because it was null and void.

“No eviction notice was issued to us. We were aware that there was a suit pending in court but no meeting had been convened by Muthithi to notify the families of the intended eviction," the affidavit says.

The families said they would have lawfully resisted the eviction had a notice been given to them.

“The eviction was carried out in a brutal manner during the wee hours of the morning and in darkness without regard to the interests of children, persons with disability and women that occupying the property,” they said.

They claimed a publication about the intended eviction was not put out in the dailies as required. The group said the demolitions affected a group of more 11,000 residents.

"The law demands that the newspaper advert/eviction notice must be placed in five strategic locations in the suit property. This was not done at all."

The families are also seeking an order suspending orders directing their eviction.

Justice Bernard Eboso set hearing of the case for Tuesday next week.

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