Widow, her son ordered to vacate Kanyotu land

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024 05:28 | By
Court gavel
Court gavel. PHOTO/Pexels

A widow and her son have been ordered to vacate two properties comprising approximately 230 acres in Naivasha.

The dispute arose when the widow, Ruth Muthoni Iganjo and Dickson Iganjo, claimed that the land belonged to her late husband.

The legal battle involved two families, one representing the late chief spymaster James Kanyotu and the other representing the late Gitonga Mwangi Muriithi, both of whom were being sued by Muthoni and her son over the disputed properties in Naivasha.

Muthoni’s claim was based on the assertion that on July 7, 2014, her late husband, together with the late James Kanyotu and the late Mwangi Stephen Muriithi, were directors of Kamuta Limited.

This company was incorporated around December 4, 1976, with each director holding one share.
Muthoni and her son Dickson had sued three widows of the late Kanyotu namely Mary Wanjiku, Jane Gathoni and Margaret Nyakinyua.

In the case, lawyer Wangeci Wahome Akedi, one of the defendants refuted the claim that Iganjo Mutahi was a director or shareholder of Kamuta Limited. They clarified that the shareholders were Kanyotu and Muriithi, asserting that Mutahi served as Kanyotu’s employee responsible for managing his farm in Olbanata.

The late Mutahi, Kanyotu, and Muriithi passed away in 2,000, 2008, and 2018, respectively.

However, in a judgment delivered on September 21, 2023 in Kajiado Court, Justice Loice Komingoi dismissed their application and ruled that Muthoni must pay the family of Kanyotu Sh1 million for trespassing on their land.

The judge declared: “The seventh defendant is the exclusive owner of the two suit properties. It has the right to utilise [the land], and it derives no income from the suit properties. I find that the plaintiffs are in illegal occupation of the seventh defendant’s property.”

Occupying land

The court awarded Sh1,000,000 as general damages for trespass and upheld Kamuta Limited’s counterclaim. It also issued a permanent injunction restraining the plaintiffs from trespassing or interfering with the seventh defendant’s properties.

Regarding Kamuta Limited’s counterclaim, the court stated that it was not in dispute that the plaintiff’s family is in occupation of the suit properties.

Further, the court noted that there was evidence that the land is used for large-scale farming of horticultural crops.

The land currently hosts hotels being run by plaintiffs on the main house and cottages.
It was revealed that there was a catering establishment known as Sakata from which the plaintiffs collect rent. The property is also used as a landing bay for boats used in fishing and tourists visiting Lake Naivasha.

“It is in evidence that the plaintiffs have leased out portions of the properties to third parties, and they collect rent. The occupation is without the consent of the 7th defendant.”

The judge also ruled that an order of permanent injunction be issued restraining the plaintiffs, their agents, or employees from trespassing, interfering, claiming or dealing in any way with the 7th defendant properties, namely LR. NO.398/7 and LR NO.398/8 Naivasha.

“That the Plaintiffs, their servants, and or agents are hereby directed to vacate the suit properties, namely LR NO.398/7 and LR NO.398/8 within One hundred and twenty (120) days from the date of this judgment. In default, the seventh defendant be at liberty to use lawful means to evict them”, the judge ruled.

The court ordered the plaintiffs to vacate the properties within 120 days from the date of the judgment, with the Naivasha Police Station OCS tasked with ensuring compliance.

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