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Women 'abandon' 5 children in Machakos Court

Friday March 29 2019

Machakos land case

The five children who were abandoned at Machakos Law Courts by two women on March 29, 2019. The women were protesting over the delay of judgment in a land dispute that has dragged for 34 years. PHOTO | STEPHEN MUTHINI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STEPHEN MUTHINI
By STEPHEN MUTHINI
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An elderly woman and her daughter-in-law caused drama in Machakos on Friday when they abandoned five children in court.

The two were protesting over the delay of judgment in a land dispute that has dragged in court for 34 years.

Ms Mbwele Muoki, who had sat quietly with her daughter-in-law suddenly stood up in court in protest when the judge mentioned the next date of hearing.

"You cannot keep on postponing judgment while we continue to suffer. Are you tormenting us because we are widows? We will abandon these children here for the government to take care of them as it does to destitute children,” said Ms Mbwele who addressed the judge in Kamba language before leaving the children behind.

"Tell the advocates that once I give a hearing date, there should be no further adjournments," said Justice Eric Angote before leaving the court.

KASEVE

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Members of the public who had attended the court session also dispersed, leaving the children behind.

The women told the Nation that a ruling on the case was to be made on April 5, 2018 but the occupant of the land had appealed.  

Ms Mbwele said the 11.3-hectare land located in Kaseve village near Wote town in Makueni County, was allegedly sold for Sh29,000.

The land was sold to Mr Mutie Kioko in 1984 by Ms Mbwele's stepson Mr Muli Muoki who later disappeared.   

She told Nation that one of her sons, Mr Waviti Muoki, was buried in Makueni Cemetery, while another one, John Muoki, was buried at a relative’s home in Malivani village. 

WIDOW

Ms Mbwele, who is a widow, lives in Tamu Tamu village in Kathonzweni sub county on a piece of land donated to her by a well-wisher.

The court had ruled that Ms Mbwele is the rightful owner of the land and ordered that the current occupant be evicted.  

A certificate of confirmation of grant issued by Justice Isaac Lenaola at Machakos High Court in 2009 shows that Ms Mbwele Muoki and Mr Denis Muoki were given a grant of representation to the estate of the late Mr Muoki Muasya.

Another ruling delivered in 2010 by the Environment and Lands Court in Machakos indicates that Mr Kioko, the defendant, purchased the piece of land from strangers and not from the lawful owner, (Mr Muoki Muasya) and that he should claim a refund of his money from those who received it.

 “In any event, (Mr) Mutie Kioko has no lawful interests in this estate and he can pursue a refund of his money from those that illegally received it,” reads the ruling delivered by Justice Angote.