TV preacher, residents sue to block eviction

Thursday, May 9th, 2024 08:33 | By
Nairobi-based televangelist Thomas Wahome. PHOTO/Print
Nairobi-based televangelist Thomas Wahome. PHOTO/Print

Nairobi-based televangelist Thomas Wahome and more than 800 Lang’ata residents living near the Nairobi Dam have sued in a Milimani court to block the government from evicting them from the land, which the authorities say is riparian.

Bishop Wahome’s Helicopter of Christ Church and residents allegedly encroached on the land and put up structures, court documents show.

The petitioners told the court that they are living in fear after the environment watchdog NEMA ordered the Water Resources Management Authority (Warma) to evict them. They said bulldozers had been deployed to demolish the houses and the church.

They say the planned eviction is illegal because the court had ordered on January 9, 2023 that the status quo be maintained while ownership of the land (Nairobi Block 106, Nairobi Dam) was determined.

Alleged discrimination

“The suit is still ongoing before court but NEMA has decided that they are no longer subject to the jurisdiction of this court and have sought a way of escaping the jurisdiction by instructing WARMA to proceed with destruction of the property,” the petitioners say in court documents.

They added that WARMA had initially confirmed that the petitioners’ houses and the church stood more than 100 metres from the dam.

Alleging discrimination and malice, the petitioners told the court that other houses sat closer to the dam but were not being targeted for demolition.

NEMA, the Registrar of Lands, Attorney-General, Dam Estate Association of Residence and the Nairobi City County government are listed as respondents.

The case will be mentioned on May 13, 2024.

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