Businessman loses claim over Sh52m property


Ngenda House in Nakuru city on December 18, 2023: The Court of Appeal judges dismissed the appeal by Paul Thiga claiming ownership of the property. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A businessman has been dealt a blow after the Court of Appeal dismissed his case claiming ownership of a multi-million-shilling property in Nakuru.

Paul Thiga challenged the decision by the Environment and Lands Court in Nakuru in a dispute with Ngenda Investment Rural Sacco.

Ngenda moved to court in 2017 claiming ownership of the property through adverse possession and named the estate of Pravinsingh Prabhatsing Singh Parmar as respondents. Thiga was named the interested party.

The Sacco claimed it bought the property on June 10, 2002, from Pravinsingh Prabhatsingh Parmar for Sh2.9 million and paid in full. However, Pravinsingh relocated to the UK before transferring the property.

Thiga, in January 2020, sought to be enjoined in a suit, claiming that he bought the land from Ronald Kilele on October 24, 2011, and was issued with a certificate of lease on October 7, 2020.

But Justice John Mutungi ruled in favor of Ngenda. The judge noted that even if Thiga purchased the property, which the Sacco valued at Sh52 million in 2020, such a move would have been subject to the company’s accruing rights of an adverse possessor.

The judge noted that the Sacco’s rights as an adverse possessor crystallized in July 2014 after the expiry of 12 years and directed the Deputy Registrar of the Court to execute the necessary transfer documents.

Dissatisfied, Thiga lodged an appeal. He claimed that the Environment and Lands Court denied him an opportunity to be heard before it ordered the Sacco to be a registered proprietor through adverse possession.

But last week, justices Kathurima M’Inoti, Fatuma Sichale and Fred Ochieng dismissed the application.

“All the applicant (Thiga) is relying upon is speculation and supposition. The 1st respondent (Ngenda Investment) has sworn an affidavit that it has no intention of disposing or alienating the suit property, having purchased it for the use and benefit of its members. The applicant has also not suggested, even remotely, that the respondent cannot re-transfer the property to him if his appeal succeeds or adequately compensates him. His affidavits are singularly silent on those issues,” ruled the Appeal Court judges.