Court evicts family from prime land in Nakuru after 37-year row

Wilson Mwathi, the administrator of land Nakuru Municipality in Shabaab area, Nakuru-West Sub-County. [Daniel Chege, Standard]

The Lands Court in Nakuru has evicted a family from a land they have been occupying since 1985.

On Thursday evening, Justice Mwangi Njoroge entered a judgment against the sons of Florence Nduta and Florence Wambui and ordered them to vacate the property estimated to be worth Sh40 million.

He ordered Samuel Ndung’u and Wilson Mwathi to vacate the property in Kenlands estate and take their belongings and those of their parents.

“If the family defaults on the court’s eviction orders, they shall be forcefully evicted from the prime land in Nakuru City,” ruled Justice Njoroge.

The judge issued a permanent injunction restraining the two men or anyone related to them from interfering with the land.

Njoroge entered the judgment in favour of Teresiah Wangari, the widow of renowned Nakuru businessman Gachoka Kahawa.

He ruled that it was evident that the land was registered under the name of Gachoka on November 12, 1993.

He ruled that Wangari was justified in suing Ndung’u and Mwathi, on behalf of their respective mothers Nduta and Wangari, who died in 2007 and 2014 respectively.

Njoroge said Ndung’u and Mwathi failed to prove that they occupied the property since 1993, without any interruption, to be granted proprietorship under the adverse possession rule.

He added that they failed to prove when and how they inherited the land from their mothers and did not produce any evidence to prove ownership.

“The defendants (Ndungu and Mwathi) are not registered proprietors of the land, even though they continue to occupy it. They have also not proved that the owners allowed them to possess it,” he ruled.

The judge ruled that it would be unjust to allow the two to possess the land on behalf of their mothers while still claiming that the case was filed against them in their individual capacities. Njoroge ruled that the two men and their families had trespassed on a property they did not own.

Noting that the two had been making around Sh14,000 per month, from business and rent in the premise, the judge ruled that the estate was entitled to profit compensation.

Estate profit

He ordered the two to pay Sh504,000 as profit the estate and Wangari missed while Ndung’u and Gachoka were in possession of the land.

Wangari in her testimony on November 18, 2022, sought orders for the eviction of the two men and their families.

She testified that the two had been granted land by the municipality, until late 1992.
Wangari produced a certificate of the lease for the land, a certificate of confirmation of grant, and copies of rate payment receipts.

She accused the two of encroaching on private land, after they refused to vacate the premises, despite a letter from the municipality dated November 11, 1992.

“They illegally commenced on developing the property and have refused to vacate, despite several demands,” she said.

She said she and her children have been denied the use of the land including profit earned from business premises in the area.

However, in defence, the two claimed their family was gifted the property as a charcoal space in 1985, built mud-walled houses and business premises, and have been in continuous occupation.

“Even after Gachoka allegedly bought the property, he did not evict us. We have stayed on the land for over 12 years and should be allowed to possess it under the adverse possession act,” said Mwathi.

He said they lived peacefully until May 2019, when they were served with a judgment ordering their eviction. The judgment was later set aside after the court realised the judgment was made against Wambui, who was deceased.