alexa Achieng' Abura family fights for 500-acre farm in Nandi - Daily Nation

Achieng' Abura family fights for 500-acre farm in Nandi

Tuesday June 25 2019

Lydia Achieng’ Abura.

Lydia Achieng’ Abura. The singer died on October 20, 2016. She was the fifth born in a family of eight children who grew up in Eldoret. PHOTO | FILE 

BRIAN WASUNA
By BRIAN WASUNA
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The family of the late Achieng' Abura inherited a vicious land battle that it continues to fight against some Nandi-based sugarcane farmers.

The dispute also sucked in Caroli Omondi, the former advisor to ex-prime minister Raila Odinga.

Achieng’s relatives have now secured a court order evicting Usonik Farm Purchase Cooperative Society from a 500-acre farm in Nandi County, which has been fighting to execute a sale deal that the group signed with the songstress’ brother.

Achieng' sued Usonik in 2014.

Following her death in 2016, her sisters Joan Abura and Lynette Dawa inherited the court battle.

High Court judge Samuel Kibunja has ordered Usonik off the land until he has made a final ruling on whether to compel the Abura family to complete the botched sale deal with the sugarcane farmers.

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OWNERS

Usonik and Mr Omondi had both signed agreements to buy the farm and have each been putting up structures on the land, causing a stalemate on whose sale agreement is legitimate.

Justice Kibunja has now ruled that the Aburas, being the original owners, have a right to decide who should occupy the land.

“Even without making a final determination on whether or not Usonik or its members have any rights to occupy or possess the land, it is obvious they had not received the blessings of the plaintiffs when they erected structures on the suit land. It is only fair that Usonik be restrained from using the suit land pending the hearing and determination of the suit,” Justice Kibunja has ordered.

LOAN

The land was originally owned by the Aburas mother, Isabella, who purchased it through a loan from the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).

When Isabella Abura died in 1993, her children inherited her assets, including the Nandi County farm. The family also inherited the AFC loan.

In 2007, the musician’s brother, Jack Franklin, agreed to sell 500 acres of the farm to Kichaba Farmers Cooperative Society for Sh35 million to offset the AFC loan.

The farmers group used its subsidiary, Usonik Farm Purchase Cooperative Society for the deal.

Usonik released Sh9 million to AFC, which in turn handed over the land’s title deed to the Aburas.

After Franklin died in October 2007, Achieng' Abura took over handling affairs of the land.

Achieng' sold the property to Caroli Omondi, sparking a vicious battle with Usonik.

The Aburas argue that the sugarcane farmers frustrated their sale deal by illegally leasing some parts of the 500-acre land to third parties.

But the sugarcane farmers hold that after Franklin died in 2007, his sisters agreed to complete the sale and even allowed Usonik to occupy some parts of the land.