Judge and his wife sue county on Sh42 million land

A High Court judge and his wife have sued the county government for encroaching on their land.

Justice Sila Munyao, who is based in Nakuru, and his wife, Linda Chepkorir Ruto, told the Land and Environment Court they could not get access to the land or develop it because of the actions of the county government. They want the county government ordered off the land adjacent to Bukhungu Stadium.

In their suit papers, the two said they were the lawful proprietors of the property Kakamega/Municipality Block 111/7. The couple said it bought the land on November 22, 2011. The value of the land located in the central business district is Sh42,900,000, according to a valuation report presented in court.

The petitioners said they had continued to pay the land rates for the half-acre parcel without enjoying any benefits from it.

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They said the county government had fenced off the land and intended to turn it into a parking lot for the stadium, a move they said was meant to deprive them of their right to own the property.

Through lawyer Abok Odhiambo, Justice Munyao and Ms Ruto want the county government stopped from encroaching on their land.

To prevent encroachment and trespass, Munyao and Ruto said they erected a Sh2.5 million perimeter wall around the land.

They have enjoined the County Development Control and Dispute Resolution Committee in the suit.

Committee approved

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Justice Munyao and Ruto said the committee approved the construction of the perimeter wall on October 15, 2015

They engaged a physical planner to apply for change of user from residential to commercial use and went ahead to hire a security firm to guard the land since they were not residents of Kakamega.

However, on December 7 last year, persons who claimed to have been sent by the respondents descended on the property, tied up the day guard and started demolishing the perimeter wall.

The gang was said to have left after police arrived but vowed to return “when the petitioners can do nothing to them about it".

Justice Munyao, who coincidentally is a Land and Environment Court judge, said on December 11, 2017, the second respondent, without prior notice, placed on the wall a purported enforcement notice ordering them to bring down the fence within 24 hours.

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“The purported notice was wrongful, illegal and unenforceable and tainted with bad faith or malice. The respondents did give planning approval for the wall via a letter. In the event they did not give planning approval, petitioners ought to have been informed to rectify any anomalies since nobody would have been affected by the wall,” they said.

Justice Mary Matheka scheduled a hearing on December 19.

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