Ruaraka land case to be heard by more than one judge, file sent to CJ

Supreme Court Chief Justice David Maraga at the court. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]
Chief Justice David Maraga is expected to name judges to determine whether the disputed Ruaraka land is private or public property.

Lands Court Judge Bernard Eboso sent the file to the Chief Justice to set up a bench to hear and determine the case filed by National Lands Commission (NLC) chairman Mohamed Swazuri.

The judge also declined to stop further payments touching on the land, noting that the bench would be best suited to issue such orders.

"The status of the land and payment remain unresolved. I'm satisfied that the reference is suitable for constitution of a bench composed of an uneven number of judges,” he ruled yesterday.

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The NLC has triggered uncertainty about the ownership of the land.

Court’s interpretation

Swazuri wants the court’s interpretation on whether the land is public or private property. He also wants the court to determine whether the public lost Sh1.5 billion, which was paid to Francis Mburu, for the land.

Swazuri, in his suit, claims that Mr Mburu lodged a complaint with the commission on August 29, 2016 on the 96-acre land. He states that upon a search, the commission came to a conclusion that the land was private.

“The Applicant conducted official search, which revealed that the suit property is currently registered in favour of two companies known as Afrison Import Export Limited and Huelands Limited,” states his lawyer Wahome Murakaru.

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Mr Swazuri, in his suit papers, stated that the commission visited the piece of land where Drive-in Primary School, a Chief’s camp and Ruaraka Secondary School sit last year, and valued the same to be around Sh3.3 billion.

Swazuri stated that Education ministry had confirmed to him that the land was private.

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Chief JusticeDavid MaragaRuaraka landprivatepublic propertyMohamed SwazuriNational Lands Commission