Woman defends father's ownership of Sh40m plot in 37-year-old land tussle

Teresia Wangari, daughter of the late businessman Gachoka Kahawa, says her father was the legal owner of the prime property. [Courtesy]

A family is fighting to retain ownership of a Sh40 million prime plot in Nakuru Town that is being claimed by two other families.

Teresia Wangari, daughter of late Nakuru businessman Gachoka Kahawa, said they are the legal owners of the property.

Gachoka's family and the families of late Florence Nduta and Florence Wambui have been fighting over the plot, formerly a charcoal storage space, for 37 years.

Wangari testified on Wednesday before the Environment and Land Court in Nakuru (ELC) judge Njoroge Mwangi.

This was after mediation talks directed by the court in July, last year, collapsed in August after two sessions.

Wangari said her father was the legal owner of the 0.23-acre prime property within Nakuru Town after he took possession in 1992.

Wangari is fighting off Nduta and Wambui’s sons, Samuel Ndungu and Wilson Mwathi respectively.

“I am the owner of the plot acquired by my father before he died. We bought the plot and we are in possession of the title deed,” testified Wangari.

She said that when her father bought the plot, Nduta and Wambui were occupying it.

She accused the two of refusing to vacate the plot even after they were given notice by the former Nakuru Municipal Council.

A section Nakuru City, December 29, 2020. [Courtesy]

Wangari noted that there are structures, including houses and shops, on the plot.

She wants the court to declare her the legal owner.

In cross-examination, Wangari failed to explain why she has not been able to evict the families occupying the land for the last 30 years.

Nakuru Municipal Council first allocated the plot to Nduta and Wambui for construction of a charcoal store in 1985.

The family constructed their home, rental houses and shops and the property is now estimated to be worth over Sh40 million.

However, on November 10, 1992, Gachoka’s family obtained an order to evict Nduta and Wambui as their allocation had been revoked.

Aggrieved, Nduta and Wambui sued the municipal council in 1992 but the case has never proceeded as the court file ‘went missing’.

In 2014, Wangari sued Nduta and Wambui for refusing to vacate the plot and on May 22, 2019, she won the case since the defendants did not make appearance.

The court ordered Wambui and Nduta’s family to vacate the plot within 40 days or be evicted.

However, on July 16, 2019, Ndung’u and Mwathi told the court that Wangari obtained judgment deceitful because she had unlawfully sued a dead person (Nduta).

“Wangari filed her case in 2014 and purported to have served Nduta who died on August 16, 2004," read the application.

They said they did not know the 2014 application proceeded to verdict, until a day to eviction when Mwathi saw vehicles camping outside the plot.

On December 13, 2019, the court set aside its May 22, 2019, judgment, declared it null and void and ordered a retrial.

The case will proceed on March 1.