ENCROACHMENT

Squatters on 150-acre KU land evicted after 30 years

Justice Komingoi issues mandatory permanent injunction restraining them from occupation.

In Summary
  • The occupants maintain maintain that their occupation was sanctioned by former president Daniel Arap Moi in the year 2000.
  • However, Justice Komingoi has dismissed their defence and issued a mandatory permanent injunction restraining them from the contested space. 
The entrance to Kenyatta University.
The entrance to Kenyatta University.
Image: FILE

Squatters on 150-acre land belonging to Kenyatta University for over three decades have been evicted by the court.

In the land dispute spanning over two decades between the university and the squatters, the court ruled that KU proved its case against the squatters.

The squatters had maintained that their occupation was sanctioned by former President Daniel Arap Moi in the year 2000.

However, Justice L. Komingoi dismissed their defence and issued a mandatory permanent injunction restraining them from continuing with occupation of the land.

“That a declaration is hereby issued that the occupation and under of a portion of by the defendants and other trespassers is illegal,” the court ruled.

Judge Komingoi noted that it was on record that KU had already donated 30.82 acres for settlement of the 670 squatters as per the list of 1984 adding that that was the only portion it is ready to donate to accommodate the original squatters.

The court also ruled that the encroachment of the land by the squatters threatens the advancement of education of more than 70,000 students drawn from across the country.

“It is important to note that there was a conservatory order issued by this court in 2003 barring the defendants and the plaintiffs from undertaking development on the suit land,” he ruled.

However, the court noted that the squatters admitted to court that construction has been going on at their instance and others who continue to encroach on the university land.

“The result is that the character of the suit property has drastically changed with both residential and commercial buildings erected thereon,"he ruled.

Judge Komingoi further agreed with the university’s submissions that the said suit property is not government land as it had already been alienated.

The court also said the squatters had failed to demonstrate that the university had knowledge of their encroachment on the suit land outside the 30.82 acres allocated to the 670 squatters.

KU had told court they only became aware in 2001 and filed the suit in 2002.

“I find that the defendants have failed to prove factual possession by way of building plans submitted to the relevant governmental agencies prior to the construction of the permanent structures on the suit land,” he said.

Judge Komingoi noted that the squatters did not adduce any evidence of utility bills, such as electricity and water bills to show that they were in possession.

“I agree with the submissions by KU that the squatters have not identified the portion of the suit property of which they claim adverse possession. I also agree that they have not demonstrated that they have been in possession for a period of 12 years preceding the filing of the petition in 2002,” he ruled.

KU had argued that it had donated 30 acres of its land upon which all the genuine squatters who had encroached on the land measuring 150 acres.

It was their submissions that the squatters had prevented the university from meeting its statutory obligations and prosecuting its mandate of providing and expanding facilities for higher education.