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Kibiko: Family moves to court, seeks 6 acres

It is contended that it is not the entire Kibiko land that is community land

By Jonathan Teikan

The Environment and Land Court has allowed an application by the family of the late Buxton Sanare to be enjoined as an interested party in a petition filed by three members of the Keekonyokie Community Trust Land.

The court, sitting in Kajiado, made the ruling on February 25.

Philip Wuantai, John ole Musei Moitallel and David Ntilaua Sorimpan have filed a petition seeking an injunction against any dealings with the community land that contravene the law.

The petition follows a publicized notice of intention by the former chairman of the National Land Commission (NLC), Muhammad Swazuri, to allocate six acres of land as compensation to Buxton Sanare’s estate for a piece of land they allegedly surrendered for the creation of an access road to the 2,400-acre Kibiko holding ground, as well as an allocation of 350 acres for the creation of Kibiko centre.

The notice was published on January 29, in the Standard Daily newspaper, and the public were requested to submit their comments on it.

The trio then wrote a notice of objection to NLC, where they faulted the move, arguing that the commission cannot purport to allocate a properly-registered piece of community land without the express authority and or consent of the community members.

However, NLC vice chair Abigael Mbagaya in an apparent show of disregard to the concerns raised wrote a letter recommending that the chairman of the community land proceed with the subdivision of the suit land.

Consequently, the three members moved to court seeking an injunction against the move.

Through an affidavit sworn by their lawyer Dorcas Mwae under a certificate of urgency, the trio argued that the publication contravenes the express provisions of the Community Land Act (2016), which stipulate that any such dealing is subject to approval by at least two-thirds of the community members.

They further told the court: “There has never been a properly constituted meeting and/ or assembly of the majority of Keekonyokie community members to deliberate on the community land, its use and/ or plan.”

The application has since been granted and the petition awaits hearing.

The family made their plea before Lady Justice Christine Ochieng, before lodging a cross-petition, which stated that they are opposed to the petition lodged by the three community members, to the extent that it is not the entire Kibiko land that is community land.

They averred that six acres of the Kibiko land belongs to Buxton Sanare estate and that they followed due legal procedure to acquire it as compensation.

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However, the lawyer representing the petitioners told Kajiado Star that her clients intend to file a response to the cross-petition opposing the the family’s demand.

The petitioners sought and were granted 30-days to verify the authenticity of the documents,  ranging from correspondence from the defunct Olkejuado County Council in 1989 to correspondence from the Department of Survey and the Ministry of Lands.

They say the final findings will inform them as to the parties involved and the criteria used by the defunct government to compensate the family, “while we know that there are several existing access roads to Kibiko,” said the lawyer. He cited Ngong access road from the east, via KIBT; Kimuka access road from the south; Ewuaso access road from the west; and Kikuyu access road to the north.

They argue that given that the land has “enough” access roads, there was no need for the family to donate their private land for the creation of an access road.

It remains for the court to determine whether the family will be compensated with a portion of the community land.

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