Controversial Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi has joined a bitter dispute between family members of a late former colonial era chief over an expansive farm.
Last Saturday, Mr Sudi stormed the farm with a group of youths, resulting in a clash with a section of the late Chief Talai’s family members. Sudi claimed he was inspecting 50 acres of the 2,000-acre farm with plans to cultivate it.
A section of the family is now questioning the circumstances under which the MP bought the land from Eunice Talai, a daughter-in-law of the late chief.
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Talai died in 2012, leaving behind at least 2,000 acres of prime land adjacent to Moi University main campus in Kesses, some 35km from Eldoret town.
Yesterday, Talai’s daughter Nancy and daughter-in-law Margaret Kipkosgei narrated how Sudi arrived in the farm and engaged family members in a heated exchange.
“My elderly mother, now aged over 90 years, had put a caveat on the farm and stopped any subdivision. We then put up notices to warn potential buyers from purchasing the land. We were shocked when Sudi stormed the farm with about 20 goons at 6am on Saturday and started bringing down the notices using a bulldozer,” Nancy said.
Court documents seen by Saturday Standard indicate that the High Court in Eldoret had on November 25, 2015 restrained beneficiaries of the estate from selling the land pending determination of a succession case filed by a section of members of the family.
She said some surveyors were spotted in the farm two weeks ago. Confronted, they said they had been sent by the MP’s lawyer.
Mrs Kipkosgei, the daughter-in-law, said the late Talai had had directed that no piece of the property would be sold.
“We had heard that Sudi was acquiring part of the land but we treated them as rumours until recently when he personally came with a group of chaotic youths,” she said.
But Sudi’s lawyer Richard Cheruiyot said the MP did not grab the land as alleged by the family, noting that it was a case of willing-buyer, willing-seller.
Mr Cheruiyot said the MP entered into a sale agreement with Eunice in which Sudi offered to pay school fees for the latter’s children.
The lawyer said he was aware of the court order and caveat after perusing court files, but said Eunice had a right to sell the land.
“There was no dispute on whether Eunice was entitled to the land. This is an issue between Eunice and Sudi because the duo signed an agreement,” he said.
Eunice admitted that she gave out her share of the land to Sudi, saying the MP is paying school fees for her children in local and foreign universities. “The other family members are using the caveat and court order to stop me from selling my share because they are controlling larger portions of the land,” Eunice said
On Sunday, Uasin Gishu County Police Commander Johnstone Ipara had said they would not allow the MP to forcefully enter the disputed land.
But yesterday, Mr Ipara said the police have left the matter to the family.