Businessmen obtain order to block the use of ‘BABA YAO MAMA TENA ROAD’.

The part of the road which the complainants claim has traversed through their private property. INSET: Lawyer Wokabi Mathenge speaking to the press over the issue. With him are his clients Njiri Kariuki and Dancun Macharia who are seeking their rights to property to be respected.
Two Thika residents have successfully obtained a court interim injunction to stop any further usage of the now famous Baba Yao Mama Tena Road near the Blue Post Bridge until a case filed against Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu, his Thika Town counterpart Alice Wambui Ng’ang’a and businessman Rev. David Kariuki Ngare is heard and determined.

The order was obtained on Monday, May 22 after Njiri Kariuki and Dancun Macharia moved to court complaining that the politicians forcefully encroached on their pieces of land and caused elemental damage to property.

Through their attorney Wokabi Mathenge, the plaintiffs complained about the manner in which the exit road linking Haile Selassie Road to the Thika Superhighway was cut through their parcels of land without the defendants (who in this case refer to the three politicians) seeking their consent to allow vehicles pass through their land.

“There is no road reserve here or any mapped out road here. The land in which this section of the road stands is a private property that has all the requisite documents proving ownership by my respective clients and the construction of this road interferes and infringes on their rights to property,” explained their lawyer.

Wokabi pointed out that it was regrettable that a development such as this was undertaken in total disregard of the laid down legal procedures, considering the fact that the land in question has been in existence since the year 1932. He added that his clients had incurred substantial damage of property saying that the excavation exercise dealt a big blow to his clients by degrading the value of the land.

The responsibility to ensure that this order was effected was thrown at Joseph Boinett, the Inspector General of the National Police Service, who has been enjoined to the case as a defendant. 

“In issuing these orders therefore, the court stopped any trespass or even directing of traffic along this part of the road. It is now incumbent upon the relevant authorities, in this case the National Police Service, to ensure that there is no traffic that is directed into my clients’ parcels of land,” said 
Wokabi.

He warned that in an event that this order was defied, the complaints would file a ‘contempt of court’ case against the defendants which is punishable ultimately by imprisonment.

Mr. Macharia lamented that his family had now been subjected to public lynching with a section of residents wondering why he was opposed to this new development. However, he argued that he was entitled as a Kenyan citizen to defend his property and it was wrong for politicians to play populist politics in disregard to right to property.

“No one should rejoice over my predicaments. Today I am the victim of populist politics, tomorrow you too may find yourself in my shoes. So, let everyone follow the law and every Kenyan be accorded their due rights,” said Macharia.

Njiri wondered why these politicians failed to pursue the proposed programme to expand the bridge as was originally scheduled by the current leadership of Kiambu County Government. He added that he feared for his life as there were people threatening him and his family over his stand to object the road passing through his section of the land.

“I personally am not opposed to such developments as they stand to benefit all of us. But I cannot sit back and watch anyone destroy my lifelong investment for any reason whatsoever. My right to property too needs to be respected,” quipped Njiri.

The hearing of the case is slated for June this year.

(Related story: Glaring Legal Tussle Looms As Two Men Face ‘Baba Yao’ Over Encroachment Of Land.)

According to the Kenya Roads Act and the Public Roads and Roads of Access Act, landowners to be affected in such road developments must be served with a notice of application for leave to construct a road of access, from the roads board calling upon the owner or occupier of land over which the proposed road of access is to pass to show cause within one month why the proposed road of access should not be granted.


The board shall then fix a day for the hearing of the application, and after hearing the applicant or his representative and any other party who might be affected thereby may make an order in writing in the form in the Second Schedule to this Act, granting the applicant, his servants and his agents leave to enter upon the said land and construct such road of access and of such width as the district board may decide upon, subject to such conditions and to payment of such compensation in respect of any growing crops or permanent improvements damaged or destroyed by the construction of such road of access as to the board seems fit.
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