Locals thwart police attempts to evict woman from her home
Armed police officers deployed to facilitate an eviction of an Asian woman from her home of 60 years in Ganjoni, Mombasa, were forced to flee from the scene by locals opposed to the action. The concerned locals have now asked the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to rein in errant officers they said were being used by cartels targeting the properties of the old Asians. Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki said cases of eviction of the elderly by individuals with dubious court orders and support from police officers were on the rise in Mombasa and Nairobi. This comes barely a week after an Asian family was violently ejected from their house in Westland in Nairobi, which sparked a national condemnation. The auctioneer behind the eviction in Nairobi, Zachary Baraza of Siuma Auctioneers, has since been arrested and charged in court. Faki said this was not an isolated case. He said this after police tried to aid the eviction of Shenaz Hussein from her house in Ganjoni. Shenaz and her cousins are embroiled in the ownership tussle of the property. The police officers said there was a valid court order to evict Ms. Shenaz and other tenants from the house. The order was allegedly issued by a magistrate on November 13, 2020. Shenaz, however, disclosed other court documents to support her claim that the superior court, the Land and Environment Court, had ruled that the house belongs to her. The authenticity of the order given by the Mombasa Chief Magistrates Court in 2020 but issued on September 14, 2022 is being questioned. In a case filed in 2008 and amended in 2016, justice C.K. Yano said that it was clear that Ms. Shenaz and her father acquired the property through adverse possession. From the court documents, Ms. Shenaz is embroiled in the tussle over the ownership of the property in the prime area with her cousins called Salim Haji Essak and Bilqis Salim Suleiman. Ms. Shenaz told the court, according to the judgment, that her late father, Hussein Haji, bought the property and registered it in the name of his brothers who were also business partners Suleiman Abdulrehman, Ismail Haji, and Ali Mohamed. The three siblings were family business partners that dissolved in 1981, and properties were distributed. The late Hussein retained the ownership of the property. Although the property was in Hussein's name, the family continued to pay land rates to the defunct Mombasa Municipal Council. The judge said in 1983, Suleiman,” without any colour of right”, sold the house to Burton Development Limited and later resold it to Bilgis Salim Suleiman and Salim Haji Suleiman In 2008, Ms. Shenaz and her sister were given the notice to vacate the house but they stayed put, insisting that the house belonged to their late father.