COURT CANCELS TITLE

Former KRA man ordered to demolish apartments in Mtwapa

Court ordered Wahome, his wife and sons to demolish the apartments or EACC would take up the exercise.

In Summary
  • A judge annulled a title deed that Wahome and his family have been holding since 1996.
  • Judge Sila Munyao also imposed a permanent injunction restraining the family from accessing the disputed land.
KRA headquarters at Times Tower in Nairobi
GRABBED LAND: KRA headquarters at Times Tower in Nairobi
Image: FILE

A former Kenya Revenue Authority official has 30 days to demolish his five apartments built on KRA land in Mtwapa.

The Environment and Land Court in Mombasa ordered Francis Wahome, his wife Ann Gathoni, their three sons Victor Wahome, Edward Kagume and David Mwangi to remove all structures they built on the prime land at Creek Side area in Mtwapa, Kilifi county.

Failure to do so, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission who are the applicants in the suit have powers to forcefully remove the structures and the costs will be upon the defendants.

Justice Sila Munyao also imposed a permanent injunction restraining the family from accessing the disputed land.

He further annulled a title deed that Wahome and his family have been holding since 1996.

Munyao declared that the land had been illegally, irregularly and fraudulently converted and renumbered from MN/111/293 to MN/111/2974.

Wahome's 1996 title was done by Wilson Gacanja in favour of Frann Investment Limited, a company owned by Wahome and his family.

At the time of allotment, Gacanja was the Commissioner of Lands

Gacanja will pay a fine of Sh1 million for misuse of his position at the land’s office and breaching trust.

Munyao said there was a trend of people who believe in quickly developing a disputed land in order to garner a court’s sympathy.

He said developments on the land do not change a thing because they do not sanitise the title deed which was illegally acquired.

The judge said the defendants went ahead to develop the land despite KRA putting up a notice of owning the land.

“They undertook the development at their own risk without first ensuring that they have a clean title to the land. They further could not stomach a head-to-head fight with KRA and that is why they did not sue them for the title," he said.

This is the second case in Mombasa where the EACC has successfully recovered government land grabbed during the Moi era.

In March, Munyao ordered former Lands Commissioner Sammy Mwaita to surrender a house he awarded himself during his tenure.

The house was among those constructed in Bamburi area to accommodate civil servants.

The judge said Mwaita who was a powerful commissioner during the Nyayo era abused his office by not following procedures in the allotment of the property, thus the land was irregularly allocated to Lekyo Tours.

 

Edited by Henry Makori