The Kenya Railways Corporation has been restrained from evicting Pastor James Maina Ng’ang’a from a plot of land along Haile Selassie Avenue on which his Neno Evangelism Church sits.
The court injunction was granted upon Ng’ang’a’s request allegedly after the court established that the pastor raised a valid concern.
Pastor Ng’ang’a’s secretary confirmed that the High Court extended the orders to other government agencies including the National Police Service who would be instrumental in implementing the eviction.
“The injunction was issued yesterday following a previous order by Kenya Railways in which they ordered the church leadership to vacate the land.” She confirmed.
Ng’ang’a told the court that he has occupied the land for more than a decade after purchasing it legally.
Through lawyer Cliff Oduk, Pastor Ng’ang’a told the court that he is on the prime piece of land legally adding that he bought it for Ksh8 million in 2011. The land has since appreciated in value.
The lawyer also revealed that his client assumed the ownership of the land from one Amin Mohamed Rahim Bhanjee, who held a 99-year lease from October 1994.
In his submissions, Ng’ang’a stated that following Bhanjee’s death, the government gave his wife, Farida Amin Mohamed a certificate of confirmation of grant after the conclusion of an inheritance case on July 17, 1998.
“We have the right title deed for the property. However, Kenya Railways claims that the land is part of a railway reserve and they have been trying to evict Ng’ang’a for several years.” He argued.
The court’s decision is however, a temporary victory for Ng’ang’a in the case likely to go to trial later this year.
If Ng’ang’a is successful at trial, he will retain ownership of the land.
If Kenya Railways emerges triumphant, Ng’ang’a will be ordered to vacate the property which the government claims is a railway reserve.
The outcome of the case could have implications for other landowners who are facing eviction from land believed to be railway reserves.