Family fights to reclaim land sold to settle the displaced

A businessman may have duped the Government into buying 750 acres of land to resettle families displaced by the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Paul Kihara filed an application seeking to have Philip Kamau enjoined in a suit filed by his sisters and relatives, who want 240 acres and their parents' gravesite in Ndonga farm, Subukia, reverted to the family.

Lawyer Winnie Jebet told Environment and Land Court Judge Dalmas Ohungo that Kamau had allegedly forged the signatures of his family members thus rendering the power of attorney he used to sell the property null and void.

“The proposed interested party is necessary to this suit and will assist the court in shedding light on the main issue raised herein, and in reaching a determination after hearing all necessary parties and considering all evidence,” read the application.

Justice Ohungo directed that Kamau be served with the application.

Kamau's eight sisters, a sister-in-law and niece had moved to court in 2013 to contest the sale of the land to the State for Sh97.5 million.

They were the beneficiaries of the estate of Benjamin Njoroge Wamanji. Kamau had been named the estate's administrator in 1997.

After the land was sold in 2011, the ten women were informed that they were each to collect Sh1.6 million from the offices of Rachier and Amollo Advocates as their share of the proceeds.

This was in accordance with a distribution schedule contained in a certificate of confirmation of grant issued by the High Court in Nakuru.

But in May, lawyer Steve Biko for the women produced a letter from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, dated October 31, 2014, indicting that the family members' signatures in the power of attorney document were fake.

The women told the court that they had been deprived of their right to own and utilise their property.

In 2013, they had sued the AG, PS Lands ministry and PS Ministry of Special Programmes after allegedly defying a court order restraining them from settling the IDPs on their farm.