ROW OVER PROPERTY OWNERSHIP

Trader accuses police of harassment in Umoja plot dispute

Environment and Land Court order barring interference ignored

In Summary

• Michael Thiong'o Kinyanjui says he and his wife were arrested by officers from Buruburu Police Station.

• But Buruburu OCPD Adamson Bungei says he knows nothing of the arrest and maintains: “Police don’t give title deeds…”

Michael Kinyanjui with his container at Nairobi City Inspectorate yard at Dagoretti on May ‎5.
HERE IS THE EVIDENCE: Michael Kinyanjui with his container at Nairobi City Inspectorate yard at Dagoretti on May ‎5.
Image: COURTESY
The piece of land under contention in Umoja
The piece of land under contention in Umoja
Image: COURTESY

 

A Nairobi businessman recently spent time in Buruburu police cells over a property ownership dispute. 

Michael Thiong'o Kinyanjui told the Star on Tuesday that Stephen Njenga Kimani wants to dispossess him of Nairobi Block 107/1306 plot in Umoja.

He says he and partner Gerald Kariuki Wabacha bought the 0.050 hectare property in Umoja in 2018 for Sh6 million.

They paid Sh800,000 as deposit on June 13, 2018, and Sh5.2 million later. The plot, now worth Sh8 million, is near Bee Centre roundabout.

Kinyanjui says he put a 40-foot container on the plot and rented it to traders who converted it into six shops.

But last month, Njenga claimed ownership of the same plot. He says he bought it from Kiambu Dandora Farmers Company Limited in 2014.

The matter was escalated to the Environment and Land Court where Kiambu Dandora Farmers Company Limited and Njenga are listed as the eighth and 13th respondents respectively.

On April 10, Kinyanjui and his wife were arrested by officers from Buruburu police station, who also towed the container to the City Inspectorate yard in Dagoretti. An officer at the yard confirmed the container was brought there by Buruburu police officers.

Kinyanjui's arrest is recorded as OB 56/8/4/2020 at Buruburu police station.

Also recorded is theft of goods, illegal towing of the container and threat to his life as OB 60/10/4/2020, 65/10/4/2020 and 27/12/4/2020 respectively.

“Individuals have been tormenting me despite the matter being in court. Why would they arrest me and not appear in court?” Kinyanjui asked.

Court documents seen by the Star show that Justice Samson Okong’o barred any interference with the plot on August 20, 2019.

“... the 8th respondent be and is hereby restrained from either by themselves , directors, agents, servants, employees, or otherwise howsoever from entering, unlawfully acquiring, taking over possession and constructing structures on all properties known as L.R Nos Nairobi Umoja Block 107/1118-1134,” the court orders read in part.

Nairobi Block 107/1306 is one of the plots. Njenga is said to have fenced the plot and set up a car hire business in spite of the court order.

Several cars were parked at the plot when the Star visited last week.

Kinyanjui swore an affidavit and filed it in court on April 29. It reads, “It is only fair and just that the Honourable court urgently intervenes by granting the orders sought to assert its authority and protect its dignity and the sanctity of its processes, and to restore public confidence.”

Njenga told the Star yesterday that he bought the plot from Kiambu Dandora Farmers Company Limited in 2014.

“Let him (Kinyanjui) go to court so that we can know the real owner…up to now nobody has served me with any court order so I don’t know what he is talking about,” he said.

“I cannot take anybody’s land, I have many titles around and I have even built flats,” he added.

Njenga denied knowledge of any court proceedings against him.

Kinyanjui’s lawyer Charles Midenga accused the police of acting in contempt of court by supervising takeover of the property.

“Any well-meaning person, if you have been told there is a court order and you are an OCPD, the only thing you can do is to get back and say the court has pronounced itself. But you cannot just turn a blind eye,” Midenga said yesterday.

Buruburu OCPD Adamson Bungei said he knew nothing of the matter.

“Police don’t give title deeds…I don’t know Kinyanjui and I have never seen him,” he said.

He denied that his officers arrested Kinyanjui, who now wants higher authorities to intervene.

 

- mwaniki fm