Mike Maina, the owner of the Marble Arch Hotel, has been dealt a setback after a judge dismissed a petition trying to prevent the Nairobi County Government from demolishing the hotel parking fence.
Judge Lucy Mbugua of the Environment and Land Court declared on May 22 that the land utilized by the hotel as a parking lot was indeed public land.
The judge concluded that a case filed by Muthithi Investments and Marble Arch Hotel Limited had no validity since Muthithi did not follow the established dispute resolution channels.
“The upshot of the findings of this court are that the suit is not merited. The same is hereby dismissed,” justice Mbugua ruled.
The court also found that Muthithi Investments should have gone to the liaison committee before submitting the complaint at the Environment and Land court.
Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko threatened to demolish the hotel parking lot in 2018 after county officials tore down a perimeter fence around an adjacent site that is used as a parking lot for the hotel.
Both the hotel and the parking lot, according to Sonko, sat on public land.
The former county chief wanted to demolish the hotel, court documents show, because the titles to the premises were obtained improperly.
The complainants wanted the court to declare Muthithi Investments as the legitimate and genuine owner of LR No. 209/11100 (IR 47666) and LR No. 209/11843 (IR No. 57355) in the Nairobi CBD.
In 2019, the hotel went to court and lost an application to re-fence a portion of a perimeter wall that had been brought down by the county government.
According to court documents, the area was once a public restroom and was owned by the Nairobi County Fire Station.
The county launched a campaign to reclaim snatched parking bays in the CBD in 2018, and has since reclaimed over 200 parking spaces.