Home Court News Gikomba traders file fresh application contesting over ongoing demolitions.

Gikomba traders file fresh application contesting over ongoing demolitions.

by Robert Guyana

Over 200 Gikomba mitumba traders have been allowed to file a fresh case
challenging a decision by the Nairobi City County to demolish their
premises to put up a fire station.

Justice Sammy Aswani Opande allowed an application by lawyer Danstan
Omari to file a fresh case seeking orders to stop fourth way to
demolition of their stalls.

Justice Opande gave Omari 2 hours to file the substantive suit annexing
all the evidence which include licenses issued to the traders to operate
in the two acre parcel of land valued at Sh 2 billion.

The Judge heard that part of the evidence will be a video clip of
president William Ruto who assured the traders they will not be evicted
when he bought a shirt from a trader at Sh 100.

Justice Opande said the rights of small scale traders must be protected
since they are the drivers of the economy,

“The plight of the traders must be guarded jealously against the
aggressors who have received licenses levy and now they have turned
against the hopless claimants,” submitted Omari.

The Judge was further told two traders have since died after their
stalls were demolished by county government bulldozers.
The judge had earlier declined a plea by the traders to amend their
earlier pleadings which had omitted evidence to prove authority to
operate in the area.

The traders, who are senior citizens aged between 50 and 80 years old,
prayed for the court’s intervention saying they have nowhere to go if
the decision to kick them out of their business premises is executed.
The judge heard the traders have been operating in the premises since
The court heard for the last two months they cannot support their
families since their livelihood has been curtailed by the county
The plea to file a fresh case was opposed by the county government
lawyer Dinda Alakhe saying the county government wants to put up a fire
station which is a project with public interest.
However the judge heard the fire station will only sit on a plot of 50
by 50 metres and the rest of the land will end up in the hands of
In his brief ruling Justice Opande said the application by the traders
to file a fresh case has merit and it is not capricious.
The judge waved an earlier order that the poor traders pay costs of the
earlier case which they had sought to amend saying they cannot be
subjected to double Jeopardy of having their premises demolished and
bear costs of the suit.

The traders are seeking preservatory orders from the court to stop the
ongoing demolition in Gikomba until the matter is heard and determined.

Through their lawyer Danstan Omari, they are claiming to have got in
trauma after a big loss they incurred during the demolition where their
properties were destroyed.
Mr Omari said that the group consists of 222 traders trading in the name
Solidarity entered in the said land around 1936 where most of them are
grandchildren of their parents who were trading in the same land.

They claim that they had been operating obeying the law in paying of
taxes and and owning genuine licences where previous governments had
been acknowledging them.
The traders are challenging the county government of Nairobi for failure
to issue notice in advance on the demolition,
“We went to court to challenge the county government of Nairobi for the
way this demolition is done which is against the law,” said Omari.
The lawyer claims that there are individuals in the government who want
to possess the same land and do the same business.
He added that the law does not allow demolition to be conducted at night
where the traders had sworn an affidavit confirming the same and it
proves the ignorance of the government.
The traders also claim that the action of their removal was done without
public participation and the issuance of notice as stated by the law.
“We have moved to court to challenge the action of removing those
traders who have been there for the last 56 years to bring other
individuals,” protested Omari.
The market is said to be serving East African countries and chasing them
out will affect trade between Kenya and those countries who rely on the
The traders also seek injunction orders to let them continue doing their
businesses awaiting the determination of the matter.

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