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Jomo Kenyatta grabbed my land, man tells court

By By WAHOME THUKU | May 30th 2013


Kenya:  An elderly man has accused the late President Jomo Kenyatta of illegally  acquiring a 1.9-acre of land from him.

Mr Gichuhi Kinyanjui, claims the late President took the land in Dagoretti area and combined it with his own.

Kinyanjui’s story, now subject of a court petition, reads like the biblical analogy that those with less shall have everything taken from them and given to those who have much.

Yet if he had another choice, Kinyanjui who filed the petition last month, would have opted not to drag the Kenyatta family to court, especially for his political stand.

Being an elderly man from the same community as the late President, Kinyanjui is apologetic at the very onset for having resulted to legal action.

“I have not gone to court in bad faith and I don’t want to be seen as undermining my community, I am only seeking justice for myself,” he told The Standard in a telephone interview.

And he would not wish to have his picture in the media or to make his case a subject of public debate.

Kinyanjui says his late father Kinyanjui Matubia gave the piece of land at Ngando area in Riruta to him in 1957. The Kenyatta family has for decades been on the defensive over claims the founding President Jomo Kenyatta acquired massive land across the country in unclear circumstances.

Prime surburbs

While the family is often targeted over thousands of acres of land they own at the Coast, Central Kenya and the Rift Valley, one 89-year old man in Nairobi has his own small claim of land against the Kenyatta family.

Under the current market rate, the land would fetch millions of shillings being in the prime suburbs of the city.

After demarcation, his parcel was registered as LR. Dagoretti/Riruta/94. He was given a yellow card as he waited for the processing of the title deed. Unluckily for him, his immediate neighbour was Grace Wahu Kenyatta, the first wife of Jomo Kenyatta.

That was the source of his predicament as he waited in vain for the processing of the title deed. Emissaries approached him from Wahu Kenyatta’s family who informed him that the late President intended to consolidate his 1.9 acres with Wahu’s and  he would be adequately compensated.

He says he never reached any agreement with either the emissaries or the President and therefore the question of compensation was not discussed. “The emissaries only made verbal promises and nothing was put in writing,” he says.

Kinyanjui says much later, he learned his land had been consolidated with Wahu’s without his consent. The consolidated land had then been registered as LR. Dagoretti/Riruta/861 and was now owned by Jomo Kenyatta.

He never received any compensation and never heard again from the Kenyatta family.“Inquiries of the records at the lands office reveal the parcel has changed and now it’s registered as LR. Dagoretti/Riruta/4099,” he told the High Court.

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