Win for Kenya Railways as land lease cancelled

Some of the buildings that were demolished by Kenya Railways officials at Mashini trading center in Nakuru town on February 13, 2021.[Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The Environment and Lands Court (ELC) has ruled a prime parcel of land in Eldoret town belongs to Kenya Railways.

Justice Stephen Kibunja of the ELC, Mombasa, ruled a lease issued to Kuinet Hardware Limited and later transferred to Lalji Vishram, Godafreed Lalji Hian and Ndalaview Service Station was illegal, null and void.

Kenya Railways said the land along Eldoret Railway Station was issued to the parastatal in 1986. They argued that they discovered the land was registered as Eldoret Municipality Block 3/56 to Ndalaview service station.

The certificate of lease was issued on May 22, 1996, and transferred to Vishram and Hian on June 17, 1996. It was further transferred to Ndalaview Service Station on October 24, 1996.

According to Kenya Railways, the said transactions over its land were done without its consent and or consultations and were therefore fraudulent.

They further argued that Ndalaview service station entered into the suit property and erected structures that pose a danger to railway transport.

But the defendants claimed the land was lawfully transmitted to Ndalaview service station and Kenya Railways were aware of the transaction as far back as 2002.

They denied the allegations of fraud, insisting they acquired the property lawfully. During hearing of the case, Duncan Mwangi, a surveyor with Kenya Railways, testified the land belonged to the parastatal through the 1986 vesting order.

Mr Mwangi told the court the land had not been surrendered to government for reallocation to the defendants.

The interested party (Oriental Commercial Bank) defended allocation of the suit property to Kuinet Hardware Ltd, its subsequent transfer of the title ending with Ndalaview service station.

Justice Kibunja noted the evidence presented by Kenya Railways leaves no doubt that the suit land was surveyed from Eldoret Railway Station, and it was vested in the Kenya Railways Corporation.

“The land was unavailable for allocation and the said transactions over the suit land were done without the plaintiff’s consent and or consultations and was therefore illegal,” Kibunja ruled.

He held that Kenya Railways was the rightful owner of the land and cancelled the certificate of lease issued to Ndalaview service station.

“A permanent injunction be and is hereby issued to restrain the defendants, their servants and or agents from interfering with the plaintiff’s use and occupation of the suit property.”


1986: Vesting order issued to Kenya Railways Corporation

May 22, 1996 a certificate of lease issued to Kuinet Hardware Ltd
June 17, 1999 was transferred to Lalji Vishram and Godafreed Lalji Hian Hian

October 24, 1996 the land was transferred to Ndalaview Service Station.

2002: Kenya Railways discovered the parcel of land had been transferred and registered as Eldoret Municipality 3/56