Firm moves to court to stop State from acquiring Sh1b land

A private firm has moved to court to stop the government from subdividing 124.39 hectares of Kadzuni settlement scheme in Takaungu in Kilifi County for squatters.

In a motion filed at Mombasa High Court, Memphis Ltd is seeking Sh1 billion in compensation for the said suit property, which it accuses the government of compulsorily acquiring.

The firm sued the Chief Lands Registrar, Lands Cabinet Secretary, Director of Land Adjudication and Settlement, the Attorney General, and the National Land Commission.

Through its lawyer Willis Oluga, the company sought conservatory orders to stop the adjudication of the and to squatters.

Memphis director Henry Obuya said the property was converted into an adjudication section without the company’s consent.

In his prayers before the court, he seeks compensation within 60 days of the order being issued.

“A declaration be and is hereby made that the petition is entitled to compensation from the respondents and the Government of Kenya in the value of Sh1,050,000,000 or such other reasonable amounts as the honourable court may access being compensation for the 124.39 hectares situated in the south of Takaungu in Kilifi North,” said Obuya.

He said the declaration and conversion of the land into an adjudication section amounts to compulsory acquisition, yet no compensation was paid to Memphis Ltd.

“The respondents are at an advanced stage of allocating the said suit property to squatters and other third-party individuals,” said the plaintiff.

He said if the company holds the suit property as a lessee from the Government of Kenya for a term of 99 years, with effect from January 2012, at an annual rent of Sh1.6200,000.

“It has come to the petitioner’s attention that despite being a private property owned by Memphis Ltd, the Government of Kenya and the respondents declared the suit property as an adjudication section and called the same as Kadzinumi settlement Scheme,” said Obuya.

Oluga said the government action is illegal and in breach of the company’s constitutional rights.

Oluga said that under the Land Act, the government and the respondents are obliged to pay the company just compensation promptly and in full for the compulsory acquisition of the suit land.