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Why High court has stopped construction of apartments on Juja land

The Construction of skyscrapers on a 40.7- acre public land valued over Sh600 million which is alleged to have been irregularly allocated to ten developers has been stopped by the High Court following a case by over 5,000 tenants of Juja Road Estate, Nairobi County.

Enviroment and Lands Court (ELC) Judge, Mr Justice Edward Wabwoto suspended the construction of the towering 16 floor Apartments pending determination of a case filed by the tenants and Starehe Community Group (SCG) February 2023.

Justice Wabwoto directed all construction works on the land in dispute “be stopped pending the ruling of the court on July 20, 2023.”

The judge gave the orders on June 13, 2023, after he was informed by lawyers Bryan Khaemba and Ben Nzakyo that the developers are are developing the disputed parcel land.

A state counsel Allan Kamau for government told the judge he will avail evidence to prove the land on which the development is taking place is public land.

Pressing for the suspension of the construction works, Mr Khaemba told Justice Wabwoto that the public land in dispute had been set aside for the construction of a school and health facility.

“Unless this court intervenes and stops the construction then there will be nothing to salvage by the time the case is heard and determined,” Khaemba stated.

In a brief ruling Justice Wabwoto directed, “The ongoing construction works be stopped pending the ruling of this court.”

The tenants have also asked Justice Wabwoto to vacate orders allowing Ubdi Yahye Haji and nine others developers named as defendants in the case to continue with the construction.

Ubdi claims she was allocated the land 26 years ago upon a hand written letter to the lands ministry but the tenants have disputed the letter.

In the case the tenants through Ephantus Mugo Muriuki, Dennis Thuo, Martin Ngige,Julius Ngatia and Charles Ngugi have sued the lead developer Ms Ubdi Yahye Haji and 15 others as the defendants.

Ubdi and her co-developers have also filed a suit seeking orders to bar the tenants (plaintiffs) from interfering with the project.

The developers claim they have invested billions in the housing project.

A three bedroomed apartment is going for Sh8.7million while a four-bedroomed is sold at Sh10million in the plot.

But the plaintiffs have questioned the legality of the title issued to Ubdi Yahye Haji, (the first respondent) disclosing to the judge that she used a different name at the lands office while applying for allocation of the property.

Khaemba and Nzakyo have unveiled the names used by Ubdi as :-Ubdi Yahye Hagi and Udbi Yahye Haji.

The court heard she has obtained National Identity Cards using the two names-Ubdi Yahye Hagi and Udbi Yahye Haji.

The judge was told Ms Ubdi Yahye Haji used a National Identity card number 3042617 which belongs to one Duncan Ng’ang’a Kimani to register the land in dispute at Ardhi House.

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