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Win for Kibor's sons as Court stops execution of eviction orders

RIFT VALLEY
By Lynn Kolongei | March 25th 2021
Jackson Kibor at his house in Kabenes, Uasin Gishu County. [Kevin Tunoi, Standard]

Businessman Jackson Kibor’s attempt to repossess 1,240 acres of land he had gifted his three sons has been stopped by the Court of Appeal.

The three-judge Bench stopped Kibor from kicking out his sons from the land in Uasin Gishu County until their appeal case is heard and determined.  

Judges Hannah Okwengu, Fatuma Sichale, and Daniel Musinga said they had perused a High Court judgment that allowed Kibor to evict the children and were satisfied that the sons’ appeal is arguable.

“It must be borne in mind that an intended appeal must not succeed, rather it is an appeal that raises at least one ground that is not frivolous and merits full consideration by the court,” reads the ruling.

The ruling is based on an application filed on February 17 by Kibor’s sons - Elkanah Kipleting, Evans Kipkosgei, and Erick Kipchumba – who were dissatisfied by the May 6 last year's decision by the Environment and Lands Court.

The judgment had further instructed the Lands Registrar, Uasin Gishu County, to nullify and cancel the consolidation, subdivision, and issuance of title numbers Soy/Kapsang Block 10 (Samitoi) 13, 14, and 16 (the suit properties) to Kibor’s sons.

Hostility and intolerance

“The applicants argued that unless the order sought is granted, there is a likelihood that the respondent will evict them from the suit properties as he has developed hostility and intolerance against them, though they are the respondent’s sons. If execution of the judgment is carried out, the intended appeal shall be rendered nugatory,” Kibor’s sons told the Court of Appeal.

They argue that they have occupied the land for many years and that shortly after the delivery of the judgement, Kibor caused their arrest and incarceration at the Soy Police Station for alleged trespass.

“Unless the order sought is granted, there is no telling what the respondent may decide to do with the suit properties before the appeal is heard and determined. If he evicts the applicants and disposes of the suit property, the appeal will be rendered nugatory,” the court noted.

Kibor had moved to court in 2016 to block the transfer of the parcels of land to his sons in an unresolved family dispute.

To his relief, the Environment and Lands Court in Eldoret in 2020 ruled in his favor in the case that also pitting him against his former employees.

The court also dismissed three applications tabled by the sons and the employees seeking a temporary order of stay of execution of the judgment pending the hearing and determination of the intended appeal.

The judgment delivered by Justice Antony Ombwayo ruled that Kibor was the legal owner of the disputed land.

Employees plea

The employees, in their application, told the court that they were senior citizens who would suffer irreparable damages if they were evicted from the disputed land.

In the notice of appeal, the sons sought a temporary injunction restraining Kibor by himself, agents, or servants from selling, disposing of, transferring, charging, and or in any other manner interfering with the parcels of land, pending the hearing and determination of the intended appeal.

But Justice Stephen Kibunja dismissed the application, saying there was no evidence showing the extent of damage that the applicants would suffer.

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