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Family in anguish as bishop refuses to vacate 22-acre land

Saturday November 9 2019

land dispute

The Wang'ondu family: Eliud (left), his brother Samuel and their father Ayub. They want assistance in throwing Archbishop Fredrick Wang’ombe out of their land in South Kinangop. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WANJOHI GITHAE
By WANJOHI GITHAE
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The head of the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) and his siblings are on the spot for failure to move out of a parcel of land owned by a Nyandarua farmer.

Archbishop Fredrick Wang’ombe has declined to vacate a 22-acre parcel of land owned by Mr Ayub Wang'ondu Kibii despite a court decree that he is not the owner and subsequent orders for him to move out.

Mr Wang’ondu has even obtained contempt of court findings against the Archbishop but this has not helped matters.

Not even the police in Nyandarua have been of much help to the 76-year-old peasant.

The dispute has been brewing since 1985, and despite the Lands ministry and the courts siding with Mr Wang’ondu, the Archbishop has stayed put on a parcel.

APPEAL DISMISSED

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In 1985, Mr Wang’ondu applied for land at the Settlement Fund Trustee and was allocated plot number 3273 in South Kinangop.

After paying all requisite fees, he was allocated the title deed in mid-1990s. In 1998, Stanley Nderitu Ngari (now deceased), the Archbishop’s father, contested the allocation despite being allocated land – number 3274 – adjacent to Mr Wang’ondu’s.

The late Ngari claimed the two parcels of land belonged to him.

Mr Wang’ondu filed a counter claim and after years of court appearances, the High Court ruled in Mr Wang’ondu’s favour on March 22, 2012.

Mr Ngari was given 60 days to vacate. All this time, Mr Wang’ondu and his family had been staying in a colonial village in Kinangop.

Mr Ngari moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling. He passed away in late 2012, leaving his sons, led by Archbishop Wang’ombe, to pursue the matter.

After five years of failing to appear before the court, the appellate court judges dismissed the appeal.

EVICTION NOTICE

In 2017, the Archbishop, through lawyers Arthur Mathitu Nderitu and Joseph Wachira Nderitu, sought to have the eviction decree from 2012 stayed.

High Court judge Mary Oundo found that the application lacked merit. “Upon perusal of the court record, this court finds that the plaintiff/applicant filed the application for stay of execution on 9th October 2017, more than five years after delivery of the judgment on 22nd March 2012, which judgment was being appealed from.

There was no explanation as to why he had taken such a long time to file the application … I find that he also did not come to court with clean hands,” noted the judge. The ruling was delivered on February 26, 2019.

On December 18, 2018, a court-appointed auctioneer moved to evict the Archbishop and his siblings from the land.

Mr Wang’ondu moved to put up a new perimeter fence, but Archbishop Wang’ombe and his siblings forcibly moved back to the property.

CONTEMPT

Mr Wang’ondu reported the matter to Haraka police station. He also reported the case at the DCIO, Nyandarua South, on December 20, 2018. They are yet to take any action.

Mr Wang’ondu proceeded to file contempt charges against the cleric. He sued Archbishop Wan’gombe, Mr Arthur Mathitu Nderitu, Mr Joseph Wachira Nderitu and Thairu Nderitu.

On July 23, 2019, Justice Oundo found the four in contempt of court. They paid a Sh100,000 fine each, but continued to occupy Mr Wang’ondu’s land.