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Why over 800 squatters want to stop Mark Too burial

By Fred Makana | Updated Sat, January 7th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
Mrs, Mary Jepkemboi Too (left) and Mrs, Sophie Jelimo Too (right) widows of the late Mark Kiptarbel Too. PHOTO: WILBERFORCE OKWIRI/STANDARD

More than 800 squatters have filed a fresh suit in Nairobi seeking to stop the burial of prominent politician Mark Too at Maziwa farm in Eldoret over ownership dispute. Too is set to be buried on Monday January 9.
Through lawyer William Arusei, the Sirikwa Squatters Group who have sued Too's widows Mary and Sophie and the burial committee, claim that if the burial proceeds on the property, they will suffer irreparable loss and prejudice.

The land ownership is a subject of a ten-year court case, with the squatters claiming to be legitimate owners. The matter has been changing hands from one judge to another and is being handled by a seventh judge.
"At any rate the said pending litigation was public interest litigation and had been in the public knowledge and by rushing to bury the deceased is an attempt to steal the match over their opponents," Mr Arusei said in the court documents filed at the Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.
They urged the court to direct the burial committee to conduct the burial elsewhere and await the outcome of the case set to be determined on January 27.
"Apart from the pending ownership dispute which was a matter of serious concern, no party should be seen to be taking advantage of the situation or situations to the prejudice of the other," Arusei said.

The squatters have been battling for the land with Too, and a Mr David Korir. However, Too and Korir in their response maintained that the case should be dismissed with costs as it did not meet the threshold.
They said they bought the vast farm from Lonhro Agri-Business East Africa Ltd and was issued with the necessary title documents.
The squatters' chairman Benjamin Ronoh, in their affidavit, said the land was surrendered back to the government on June 9, 2000 after which they were allocated the land.

Yesterday, the squatters had not obtained orders stopping Too's burial.

Meanwhile, a Nairobi lawyer with similar names like Eldoret based lawyer Simon Lilan who claimed that Too may have been killed, has clarified that they have no links. "People have been calling me thinking that I am the Lilan, I would like to say that, the Eldoret based lawyer is not related to me by blood nor does he work in my law firm," said Lilan.


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