Government To Demolish Old Jogoo Road Houses For Affordable Housing Scheme

By The Weekly Vision Reporter

A Judge has concluded that civil servants residing along Nairobi’s Jogoo Road must vacate the dilapidated government houses to make space for the building of new houses under President William Ruto’s pet project, the affordable housing scheme. 

More than 360 civil servants working for the National Government residing in Jogoo Road Phase 2 Government Estate were unsuccessful in their legal battle against the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing, and Urban Development. By granting the request, government employees must now relocate from their current residences on Jogoo Road for the construction of affordable houses. Civil servants had gone to court seeking orders of temporary injunction restraining the Cabinet secretary, his agents, and/or such persons claiming under them or working under their instructions from demolishing, evicting the petitioners, relocating, transferring them, or in any other way interfering with their peaceful and quiet occupation of the houses at Jogoo Road Phase 2 Government Estate.

The main point of disagreement arose when civil servants argued that the Cabinet Secretary issued them a notice to vacate the designated premises without proper consultation and public participation to make space for the construction of affordable housing units. The notice in question, which stipulated a mere 2-month period for them to either relocate or vacate the designated premises, has been contested on grounds of irregularity, illegality, and unconstitutionality. One of the key arguments against it is the lack of public participation and engagement with the affected individuals.

Additionally, they contended that their constitutional right to legitimate expectation and entitlement to public participation in decision-making had been disobeyed and/or encroached upon. Moreover, the legal representative for the civil servants put forth the argument that if the impugned vacation notice does not stay through the granting of a temporary injunction, there is a likelihood of the children’s right to education being infringed upon and/or violated.

However, the government promptly responded by stating that since civil servants receive housing allowances, they can easily find suitable alternative accommodation that matches their status. Moreover, the government claimed that it needed the premises for the development of affordable housing, which will be open to them upon completion.

In a ruling dated May 6, 2024, by Judge Oguttu Mboya, the judge noted, “At any rate, it has also been pointed out that upon the completion of the affordable housing units, the applicants herein and the rest of Kenyans shall be at liberty to be housed therein.”. While dismissing the application, the judge noted, “Premised on the foregoing, what thus comes to mind is what would have happened if the government had not housed the applicants. No doubt, the applicants [like the rest of Kenyans] would have been constrained to procure and obtain appropriate housing for themselves and their families.”