Trattoria Restaurant at Central Business District in Nairobi City whose owner is facing contempt of court for failing to obey court orders./PHOTO BY S.A.N.


The proprietor of City’s Trattoria Restaurant is facing contempt charges alongside the Nairobi county executive officer in charge of health over failure to obey a court order issued five years ago.

The owner of Town House, which houses the restaurant Joaninah Wanjiku Maina wants it’s proprietor Gaetano Ruffo be summoned to explain why he should not be cited for contempt of court.

Through lawyer Kethi Kilonzo, Wanjiku also wants Nairobi County Government attorney and County Executive Committee member in charge of health, wellness and nutrition summoned to show case why they should not be cited for contempt.

Wanjiku says the government officials and restaurant owner have failed to comply with court orders issued on July 21, 2017.

“There is an ever present and continuing danger to public health and safety as a result of the contempt of Nairobi County Government and Trattoria Restaurant owner,” said Wanjiku. 

Lawyer Kethi told the court Nairobi county has failed, refused and neglected to enforce the removal of items that are blocking the fire exits and fire assembly points of L.R No. 209/2362 therefore posing a threat to public health.

She said both the county Government and restaurant owner are aware of the court orders having participated in the proceedings all the way to the Supreme Court and lost the case.

The owner of the famous Restaurant have been fighting with the Wanjiku for close to a decade over approvals granted to the eatery for installation of water tanks, smoke extractor, L.P.G gas cylinder and cold storage.

Ruffo lost an application to escalate the dispute at the Supreme Court last year.

The Apex court comprising of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Smokin Wanjala , Njoki Ndung’u, Isaac Lenaola and William Ouko struck out the case saying they do not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter.

“Having found that this Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the appeal under Article 163 (4) (a) of the Constitution, we find that the appeal lacks legal foundation. Consequently, we find that the Notice of Motion dated 9th September 2022 is not merited and is hereby dismissed for want of jurisdiction and the petition of appeal is also struck out for want of jurisdiction,” ruled the Apex court judges.

Maina and her tenant Ruffo have been embroiled in a court fight since 2013 after the landlady protested against the tenant’s move to block exit passages and fire assembly point by placing 1000kg gas cylinders and water tanks.

She accused Ruffo of using the police to harass her for trying to enforce safety regulations imposed by the Nairobi County Government.