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Litany of land cases taints Moi’s life after retirement

Thursday July 14 2016

Retired President Daniel arap Moi addresses worshipers at the Kaproret Africa Inland Church (AIC) in Konoin on March 27, 2016. The former President has been mentioned in several land disputes since he left office. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Retired President Daniel arap Moi addresses worshipers at the Kaproret Africa Inland Church (AIC) in Konoin on March 27, 2016. The former President has been mentioned in several land disputes since he left office. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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Retired President Daniel arap Moi, who has been accused of selling a 20-acre piece of land claimed by United States International University-Africa (USIU-A), to Dr George Kiongera for Sh500 million, is not new to land controversies.

Just two months ago, an Eldoret court awarded two families a record Sh8 billion after ruling that two state agencies forcibly took 1,150 acres of their family land during Mr Moi’s presidency.

The families had in their affidavit named Mr Moi and a former Assistant Minister and Mosop MP, the late Stanley Metto, as some of illegal beneficiaries of the land taken from them 30 years ago.

Justice Antony Ombwayo of the Environment and Land Division of the High Court, ordered Kenya Pipeline Corporation and Kenya Ports Authority to pay the estate of Thomas Kipkogei arap Rator Sh3.7 billion for the unlawful occupation of the family’s 546-acre land. He also gave the estate of William Kimngeny arap Leting Sh4.1 billion for illegal occupation of their 604-acre land.

On April 15, Justice Ombwayo granted the families Sh500 million in Mesne profits — which is usually the amount accrued while there was a dispute over land ownership. The families filed the case in 1988.

The former President has also been mentioned in a case in which two parties are claiming ownership of land worth Sh1.6 billion through which the Southern Bypass has been constructed.

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TRADERS OPPOSED PAYMENT

Through lawyer Juma Kiplenge, Mr Moi, who retired in 2002, entered into the case in which four traders have opposed payment of Sh400,755,150 to Tulip Properties Ltd for 2.3502 hectares (5.8 acres). They claimed that the company could not claim the money paid by the National Land Commission and the Kenya Urban Roads Authority since ownership had first to be determined.

Messrs Mohammed Koriow Nur, Simon Kiprono Laboso, Macdonald Lijoodi Makaka and Noor Mohammed Hassan claimed the land was sold to them by the former President, who has since claimed that he had been mentioned erroneously in the case.

On Tuesday this week, an Eldoret-based lawyer was arraigned for illegally selling a 100-acre parcel of land that was said to belong to the retired President.

Mr Duke Nyamweya is accused of receiving Sh 2.5 million as part payment for the land from businessman David Rono.

The accused, however, failed to appear in court for the second time, prompting Magistrate David Kimei to issue a warrant of arrest against him.

The court heard that Mr Rono had demanded a refund of the money he had paid after he got information that the land was owned by the former President. The case is pending at the Nakuru Magistrate’s Court and will be mentioned on Tuesday.

In 2013, the former President lost a 10-year court battle over the ownership of a 100-acre farm in Nakuru on which Moi High School-Kabarak stands.

The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s order that Mr Moi vacate the land or face eviction as ownership reverted to his neighbour, Mr Malcolm Bell, who moved to court in 2003.