A land ownership dispute between retired PCEA cleric Timothy Njoya and a woman who says she is his stepmother is not over yet.
The woman, Mary Wangui Maina, has filed an appeal challenging a court’s decision to evict her from the land.
Ms Maina moved to the Nyeri Environment and Land Court on Monday to challenge a ruling that ordered her to vacate the four-acre piece of land initially owned by Rev Njoya’s father, Nahashon Murere.
Ms Maina filed the appeal through the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida).
She is fighting Nyeri Senior Principal Magistrate Phillip Mutua’s decision in which he declined to declare her as the legal proprietor of the land in Mukurweini, Nyeri County.
Instead, the magistrate ruled that she is a trespasser on the property and directed her to voluntarily vacate the land, failure to which an eviction order will be issued and she would bear the cost of the eviction.
According to the memorandum of appeal, Fida says it is dissatisfied with the magistrate’s decision.
It says the magistrate erred in law for failing to give Ms Maina an opportunity to cross examine Rev Njoya during the hearing of the case.
Fida lawyer Catherine Murefu said that the magistrate also failed to give Ms Maina an opportunity to participate in the proceedings, either personally or through her advocate.
“The magistrate erred in law in failing to consider the appellant’s submissions. He also failed to consider the submissions of her advocate,” said lawyer Murefu.
Ms Maina was also ordered to pay the costs of the case, which were to be assessed later.
The Fida lawyer further criticised the magistrate for issuing the eviction order and for directing Ms Maina to pay Rev Njoya Sh100,000 as nominal general damages for trespass.
Both Rev Njoya and Ms Maina have since 2005 been engaging in a protracted court battle over the ownership of the land.
Ms Maina insisted that she was Mr Murere’s wife for 19 years up to 1996 when he died.
Fida now wants the Environment court to allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the magistrate’s court.