What next for Buxton Residents After Bid to stop Housing Project Flops? - Gilitics Media

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What next for Buxton Residents After Bid to stop Housing Project Flops?

By Eliazar Babu

What next for Buxton Residents After Bid to stop Housing Project Flops?

Mombasa businessman cum-politician Suleiman Shabhal got a respite yesterday after the High Court dismissed an application by a part of Buxton residents to halt the Sh6 billion Buxton housing project. The housing regeneration project is a brainchild of Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho while Suleiman Shahbal is the developer. The project will see over 1,500 housing units constructed on the 14-acre piece of land.

Justice Sila Munyao dismissed the application considering that there was public participation and that the applicants had been granted sufficient time to vacate the site. The applicants had moved to court to request an order to prevent the task from starting saying they were protected inhabitants and forcing them to vacate would be a violation of their fundamental rights.

Justice Munyao said that as indicated by proof presented before the court, a public participation meeting was held. 

“From the evidence presented in court by the respondent, over 500 residents of the area took place in the public participation meeting hence there was consensus and it will be wrong to say that public participation was not conducted,” said Munyao.

On the contrary, the 13 applicants through their defence counsel Ngibuini Gikandi argued that there was no ‘proper public participation’ on the project.

“When the court looks at the entire Respondent’s Replying Affidavit, there is not even one single piece of evidence where the Respondent properly advertised for the public participation meetings about the intended Buxton project. The only notice is a notice about environmental impact assessment for the project which was to be held on 3,4 and 5 August 2020,” submitted Gikandi.

The counsel had additionally told the court that the appeal was based on the fact that Buxton Point Apartments Limited illegally used public land contrary to Article 67 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. 

“The fact that there is a lack of Environmental Impact Assessment License renders the operations of the said project illegal thereby the Respondent’s seal of approval for the said project is contrary to the constitution,” the court heard. 

The court, be that as it may, failed to find merit in the suit and declined to concede a stay order to the residents who through their counsel said they would be moving to the Court of Appeal to challenge the High Court’s decision.

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