Residents, Prisons fight for 600-acre land in Nakuru

Residents of Kiamunyi and London in Nakuru county and Kenya Prisons Service are embroiled in a dispute over 600 acres of land.

The parties are filing their final submissions in a case at the Nakuru Environment and Lands Court. 

The dispute involves 17 residents and the Kenya Prisons Service. Kenya Prisons is laying claim on the land. 

Part of the land holds the Gioto dumpsite. Residents have also put up commercial and residential buildings in the area. 

Documents filed in court indicate that a section of residents moved to court after Kenya Prisons laid claim on the land in February 2022. 

They have named the Commissioner General of Kenya Prison Service and the Attorney General as defendants in the case. 

The 17 claim warders from Nakuru GK Prison moved in and started marking commercial and residential buildings with the letter X and the initials KPS, claiming that the land belongs to the prison.

The residents told the court that they legally acquired the land and have occupied it for over two decades and put up development projects running into hundreds of millions. 

“The Kenya Prisons Service, before marking the property of the plaintiffs (the 17) have never issued any notice of claim against them,” read part of the documents filed by the 17 in court. 

They want the court to issue orders barring the Kenya Prisons Service from trespassing, marking for demolition or interfering with their possession of the parcels of land. 

John Njuguna, Christine Daisy Wood and Samuel Kimotho, in their affidavits, said they acquired the listed parcels of land from the Catholic Diocese within Njoro/Ngata Block 16, while for parcels of land within Njoro/Ngata Block 9 from the registered owners and subsequently acquired title deeds. 

“All the parcels of land falling under Njoro/Ngata Block 16 were subdivisions of part of Njoro/Ngata Block 16 formerly LR 21988, LR 11788 measuring 70 acres where a grant was issued as private land in 1967 to Patricia Stewart Peters for 951 years," they said. 

They said in 1968, the entire parcel of land was transferred to Martin Athur Awuor. 

Boma Investments allegedly acquired the land and sold it to the Catholic Diocese at Sh54.4 million, and the church subdivided the land into plots and sold it. 

Others who moved to court claim they acquired land from Awuor through Olweny and Associates Surveyors in 2000. 

The Kenya Prisons Commissioner General opposed the application claiming that the residents acquired the land through fraud. 

Mary Gatakaa, the surveyor at Kenya Prisons Service, said in a statement filed in court that the suit land belongs to Nakuru Prison. 

Gatakaa said the land was gazetted in 1961 through a Gazette Notice No 361 of 1961 as plot Number LR 452/1/4 measuring 628 acres. She claimed that land was has never been degazetted. 

Gatakaa said the land is documented on the survey plan and demarcated using iron pins in concrete that are still in place to date. 

“I wish to state that the suit land belongs to the government and that the same has never been available for allocation,” she said. 

The surveyor pleaded with the court to dismiss the residents case and nullify their titles. 

The court will deliver judgment on March 7.