Ex-Gatundu North MP barred from accessing 17-acre disputed Thika land

By Oliver Musembi On Thu, 29 Oct, 2020 14:02 | 2 mins read
Former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri. PHOTO | FILE

The High Court has barred former Gatundu North MP Kariuki Muiruri from accessing a 17-acre parcel of land in Thika which is the subject of a protracted legal battle.

Thika Environment and Land Court Judge L. Gacheru issued an injunction restraining Muiruri, his agents, and workers from developing, leasing, transferring or dealing in any way with the property LR No. 4953/2414, located at Kiganjo in Thika.

Court documents indicate that Muiruri through his company, Thika Dairies Ltd, sold the land to Mapema Holdings, owned by Thika businessman Victor Maina on March 10, 2008, for Sh9 million and a sale agreement and transfer signed between the parties.

The suit filed by Maina, the proprietor of Mathai Supermarkets, names Muiruri, his company, his son Sebastian Muiruri, the Chief Land Registrar and the Attorney-General as the defendants.

Maina told the court that his case against the defendants is that of fraudulent, illegal, and unlawful cancellation of the transfer and title of the suit property after he had been issued with an original certificate of title, eight years after the transfer.

“On October 4, 2016, the Chief Land Registrar working in cahoots with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd defendants fraudulently, illegally and without any colour of right cancelled the transfer of the suit property to the plaintiff/applicant,” the judge wrote in her 24-page ruling.

“Subsequently, the 1st defendant misrepresented to the Land Registrar that the original title of the suit property was lost and caused the same to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette No. 4031 of July 4, 2018.

“The Chief Registrar without exercising due diligence issued the 1st defendant with a provisional certificate yet they were all well aware that the original one was with the applicant,” read the ruling in which Maina had informed the court that he was a bona fide purchaser who acquired an indefeasible land title.

But, Muiruri had opposed the application, telling the court that the suit was based on “wild allegations and admission of criminal ventures” and that the purported transfer of the suit property was a forgery.

It was the former legislator’s contention that the sale of the property to the businessman did not materialize as he did not pay in full the requisite amount and that in an attempt to swindle him, Maina’s advocate forged documents to effect a transfer.

“The applicant was never granted vacant possession of the suit property and the seller rescinded the entire contract and he was requested to collect the deposit paid upon execution,” Muiruri argued, further informing the court that Maina’s directors and advocates had been charged with several criminal offences related to the suit.

But Maina maintained that upon purchase, he took vacant possession of the land and that the defendants had never rescinded the contract.

Justice Gacheru dismissed with costs a preliminary objection by Muiruri, saying it was not merited and ordered that the defendants keep off the suit property.

“Having carefully considered the available evidence, the court finds and holds that the plaintiff’s application is merited and allows the same entirely in terms of prayers,” she ruled.

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