Machakos granny buried after 17 years in mortuary because of land dispute

Monday, April 26th, 2021 08:00 |
Pallbearers carry the remains of Esther Nzakwa Kitivo who died on August 31, 2004. Her body has been lying at a morgue since then. Photo/PD/ Mutuku Mwangangi

The High Court has ordered a status quo be maintained over a disputed parcel of land where Highridge Clinic, which was demolished nine years ago, once stood.

Justice Loice Komingoi directed that the title of the disputed land should not be transfered to any new party, pending the hearing of the case in May.

The court also allowed the community, through their chairman Ali Ngoroi to amend the petition and bring in a new developer who is alleged to be doing excavation on the disputed plot.

The new parties to be included in the case are Dayah Construction Company Ltd, Elmi Afrah Properties ltd and Ahmed Hassan Ismail.

The residents said Mr Hassan has come in as a new investor.

Documents filed in court also showed that the land measuring approximately 0.6905 hectares was transferred to Elmi Afrah property ltd in April 10, 2019.

In the matter, the community said the clinic, which opened its doors in 1952, was allocated to the Nairobi City Council, which had been running it until October 2011, when it was demolished.

The clinic, according to residents, used to cater for residents of Highridge location and other low income earners in the locality at minimal rate compared to private hospitals.

Then, the clinic served slum dwellers such as Deep Sea, Maasai, Kwa Njoroge, City Park Forest, Mji ya Huruma, Githogoro, Muringa and Gachie.

All was well until February 2011 when some private developers sought to demolish the clinic to put up residential flats. Their plans were, however, thwarted by leaders including then Lands Minister James Orengo, area MP Fred Gumo and the city Mayor.

It later emerged that the development was approved for allocation to M/S Golden Crest properties ltd by then Minister for Local Government the late William ole Ntimama in 1996.

The property was later transferred to M/S Garum Investment ltd sometimes in April 2011 before changing hands a new developer.

The community through lawyer Kassim Akida said another matter was pending in court but the County government allegedly entered into consent vesting the property to the private developer. They challenged the move saying the city council never approved the transfer because there is no full council minutes approving the same.

“There have been no minutes by the Nairobi county government nor its predecessor Nairobi city council to surrender the suit property to the government or any private individual and therefore the process of transfer to the defendants is not only fraudulent but also illegal,” Mr Ngoroi said.

The community wants to stop any approvals of the buildings and have named Garun Investment ltd, Alif Homes ltd Parklands, the County government, the Chief Land registrar and the Attorney General in the case.

They want the land restored to the clinic for public use. “The plaintiff if also praying for an injunction to restrain the 3rd defendant from approving any development plans or change of user by the 1st defendant or its agents,” Mr Ngoroi said.

The case will be heard on May 26

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