The Nairobi County Assembly is working on a new law that will layout appropriate procedures for eviction, demolitions and resettlement of residents in the county.
The Nairobi City County Evictions, Resettlement and Demolitions Control Bill 2020, sponsored by Parklands MCA Jayendra Malde, seeks to streamline the demolition of unauthorized structures in Nairobi. on Evictions promises to provide protection from arbitrary evictions, protection and enforcement of fundamental freedoms and rights and the right to fair administrative action for city residents.
The proposed law, which is currently in the second reading, comes in the background of rising cases of demolitions in the city in the past one year that has left helpless residents spending cold nights in the debris of what used to be their homes.
Njiru, Kariobangi, Chokaa, Dandora and Githurai are some of the areas that experienced major demolitions, which are often done in the dead of the night and over the weekends to avoid emergency Court Orders Stopping such demolitions as courts in Kenya do not sit over the weekends.
The Nairobi City County Evictions, Resettlement and Demolitions Control Bill proposes that such evictions be carried out during good weather with no heavy equipment used except for permanent structures.
“An eviction shall be conducted during regular working hours, on Monday to Friday and during good weather,” the Bill reads in part.
The Bill further states that “an eviction can only be done where the premises pose danger to a person or the public such as railroad tracks, garbage dumpsites, riverbanks, shorelines, waterways and public places like sidewalks, roads, parks or playgrounds.
But even then, a demolition order from a competent court must be issued to the concerned person who must have also been served with at least seven-day notice to show cause why such order should not be made“.
For those on private land, a court order must be obtained by the landowner against any unauthorised occupant.
The private owner shall, before filing a suit for eviction, give written notice of at least three months before the date of the intended eviction to the unauthorised occupant with the notice posted in a conspicuous place within the land or premises or delivered to the unauthorised occupant.
The notice shall state the reason for the eviction and shall give the unauthorised occupant at least 14 days to vacate the land or premises.
“Where a notice is given and the unauthorized occupant does not vacate the premises or land, the owner may file a case in the High Court, seeking eviction orders,” the Bill reads.
The owner of private land can however apply for temporary removal of an unauthorised occupant of the premises or land pending the hearing and determination of the case, but only if there is real and imminent danger of substantial injury or damage to any person or property.