Naivanui Wanjiru Ngoris at her home in Lakeview Estate on July 13, 2018. [Kennedy Gachuhi, Standard]

A 103–year–old granny and her children are starring at eviction from a prime parcel of land she claims to have lived in for six decades.

Already, auctioneers have laid out plans to have the granny evicted and any structures on the land removed.

Naivanui Wanjiru Ngoris for years engaged in a legal battle with her late mother Ngoris ole Kuraru (deceased) and her sister Anna Memsi (deceased), and a buyer Francis Wanjohi Ndirangu (deceased).

The 35-year battle for the Sh200 million land has gone through the hands of at least eight judges. And it may not be over.

Naivanui filed a suit at the High Court in Nakuru on December 6, 1988, and named Kuraru, Memsi, and Ndirangu as respondents, claiming she was the beneficial owner of land situated at Lake View within Nakuru Town.

She said she has been occupying the property since 1963, having been given the same by her father, Eustace Cyril Hudson. She claimed her father had transferred the properties to Ngoris and Memsi as trustees for her benefit and use.

Naivanui said that on or about February 18, 1988, Ngoris and Memsi, with the connivance of Ndirangu wrongfully and fraudulently and without her consent, purported to sell and transfer land to Ndirangu.

She pleaded with the court to declare that she was the lawful beneficial owner of the property. She also sought a declaration that the purported sale and transfer of the properties were null and void.

Ngoris and Memsi, in their reply, jointly said Naivanui was only their agent, and they had allowed her to stay on the land on a clear understanding that she would vacate when called upon to do so. They further admitted that they sold the property to a third defendant.

Ndirangu, on his part, filed a counterclaim and denied Naivanui was the beneficial owner of the property. He said he purchased the land from Ngoris and Memsi on or about February 18, 1988. He denied allegations of fraud levelled against him.

He reiterated that he was the lawful owner of the property, and upon purchase of the same, he served a notice of termination of tenancy upon Naivanui, who refused to comply, and thereby the plaintiff became a trespasser. He prayed for eviction against Naivanui and damages for trespass and means profits.

Court documents indicate that upon the death of Ngoris and Memsi, no application for joinder of the administrators as defendants was made and Naivanui's suit against the two abated.

Alice Wanjiru Wanjohi, the legal representative of the estate of Ndirangu, replaced her deceased husband in the case, and the court proceeded with the hearing of their counterclaim.

Judge Daniel Musinga, in his judgment, said there was no evidence that Naivanui was the beneficial owner of the property she had claimed in her plaint, which she later withdrew.

“The third defendant's (Ndirangu) counterclaim was sufficiently proved. The plaintiff (Naivanui) was given notice to vacate the suit premises, but she refused to do so. It is trite law that a party who refuses to give vacant possession upon service of a lawful notice becomes a trespasser, and a court of law would be entitled to order eviction of that party front the suit premises,” read the judgment dated December 20, 2007.

The judge held that Alice, as the legal representative of the estate of Ndirangu, was entitled to ownership and exclusive possession of the suit property and ordered Naivanui to vacate the property.

Naivanui was ordered to vacate the premises within 30 days, failure to which she will be forcefully evicted.

The court also awarded Ndirangu’s estate Sh100,000 as compensation for damages.

Aggrieved, Naivanui filed a notice of motion of appeal against the judgment on January 9, 2008. 

She said she has lived on the suit premises all her life and knew no other home. She said the place is where she has lived with her children, and if evicted, she still suffers irreparable loss.

Justice Martha Koome, now the Chief Justice, then dismissed the application on a March 6, 2008 ruling.

On February 11, 2013, Judge William Ouko dismissed another application by Naivanui’s children and ruled in favour of Alice. He ordered them to vacate within 90 days.

Aggrieved, Naivanui’s children led by Salome Naivanui, on March 8, 2013, went back to court seeking to stay eviction orders pending an appeal.

Judge Hellen Amolo Omondi November 8, 2013, dismissed the application, saying the matter had been determined by a court of equal and competent jurisdiction.

On December 2, 2013, Salome and seven others lodged an appeal seeking a stay of execution of the order of Judge Ouko.

In an affidavit, Hudson Mwangi said they occupied the land for over 12 years and feared being evicted.

Court Judges Hannah Okwengu, Fatuma Sichale, and Jamila Mohammed on March 22, 2019, allowed the December 2 application and stayed execution of the judgment of Judge Ouko pending the hearing and application of the appeal.

Court documents indicate that on November 25, 2014, MA Otindo, Deputy Registrar of the High Court of Kenya at Nakuru certified a bill of cost lodged by Alice Wanjiru Wanjohi and allowed it against Naivanui in the sum of Sh7,761,800.

Tango Auctioneers was commanded on February 16, 2014, to proclaim and to sell by auction Naivanui’s property and reclaim over Sh7 million.

On January 27, 2015, a court issued orders to the OCS Bondeni Police Station to provide security during the eviction. A court bailiff allowing the removal of any illegal structure was also issued.

On June 24, 2019, Naivanui and seven others filed a notice of motion against Alice Wanjiru seeking that the court extend the time they can appeal against the ruling of Hon Justice Ouko dated February 11, 2013, delivered and countersigned by Judge Emukule on February 15, 2015.

Justice Lydia Achode, on October 12, 2022, said she was satisfied with the circumstances of the case, the delay in filing the record of appeal was inordinate, and the reasons for the delay advanced by the applicants are not plausible or satisfactory.

On March 22, 2023, Clement Kimtai, Chief Inspector OCS Bondeni, wrote to the court to confirm the authenticity of the order.

On Monday (July 24), the firm of Kinyanjui and Njau Advocates wrote to the Deputy Registrar Nakuru High Court, protesting against the eviction orders.

Land Dispute Eviction Court Battle Land Ownership