Over a year has gone by
KCAA and NEMA earn high court’s wrath for ignoring suits
(eTN) - A judge of the High Court in Nairobi yesterday issued a summons, a step short of an arrest warrant, against the top managers of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and NEMA (National Environment Management Authority), for persistently failing to respond to cases brought against them by residents who were threatened with destruction of their homes near the Eastleigh Air Force Base in Nairobi. Residents, including the owner of a 5-storey hotel, went to court seeking protection against imminent demolition, when officials told them to be ready for demolition, but for over a year NEMA and KCAA have failed to respond to the cases.
Now given what is understood to be the last chance before judgment may be entered for the plaintiffs, they need to show the court what compelling reasons they may have had to reduce multi-billion shillings worth of homes and property into rubble, when in the first place the buildings were allowed to go up with due permits, and no objections were filed on any grounds at that time.
A source in Nairobi well acquainted with aviation told this correspondent overnight that the “security reasons” advanced by a spokesperson of the Kenya Air Force, were generally known to be hogwash and without foundation, as it has become the most misused argument trying to justify anything that government officials have schemed up.
However, history in Kenya also tells the story of injunctions that were issued being blatantly ignored, as was the case when the Kenya Airport Authority earlier this year caused billions of shillings in damages after razing homes to the ground in a cloak-and-dagger night attack, subsequently resulting in claims for huge damages incurred. Legal cases were brought by owners who claimed to have had substantive titles for the land they built on, besides contempt of court charges against the officials involved in the massive destruction of property in the vicinity of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.