STAR TRIED TO LOCATE FILE

Land file gone, family seeks justice in Machakos court

Case hits dead end after file' 'stolen' but lawyer says they have a copy.

In Summary

•  Family sued defendants saying they illegally invaded and subdivided 100 acres inherited from their father; 13 acres already sold off.

•  Wants Judicial Service Commission to intervene over the missing file.

Francis Mwaniki points at a structure being built on disputed land at Komarock in Matungulu, Machakos county, on July 12.
THAT'S OUR LAND: Francis Mwaniki points at a structure being built on disputed land at Komarock in Matungulu, Machakos county, on July 12.
Image: GEORGE OWTITI

A family in Kangundo has urged the Judicial Service Commission to help them get justice in their land case pending in a Machakos court.

They say the case in which they sued several individuals and a land dealing company in the Environment and Land Court in Machakos had a hit dead end after their file went missing.

The family had sued the defendants for allegedly invading and subdividing their 100 acres inherited from their father.

 

The disputed land ist Komarock along the Nairobi-Kangundo road in Kamulu subcounty.

Spokesman Francis Mwaniki, 67, said the family is in agony following the disappearance of the file and stalling of the case.

He said their father died in 2002, after which subdivision of the land started without the family's knowledge. 

Mwanikispoke to the Star on Friday last week.

He said all their 10 siblings — seven men and three women — depend on the land for their livelihoods and those of their children and grandchildren.

He said that more than 13 acres have already been subdivided and sold.

The family has been represented in court by DM Mutinda and Advocates.

 

“The case file disappeared in a Machakos court just before the case was concluded,” Mwaniki said.

The court documents seen by Star show that Benjamin Mwaniki and Nicholas Mwaniki, suing as the administrator of the estate of Mwaniki Kalanza, also known as Samuel Mwaniki, sued John Mwangi, Danstan Omari, Pamela Nyarige, Mwanzo Properties Limited and the Land Registrar, Machakos, in ELC CASE NO.259B of 2011.

The case file disappeared in a Machakos court just before the case was concluded.
Plaintiff Francis Mwaniki

Benjamin and Nicholas, in written submissions, claimed they are the legal representatives of the estate of Samuel Mwaniki, also known as Mwaniki Kalanza.

“The plaintiffs instituted a Plaint dated September 23, 2011, against the defendants herein. The Plantiffs averred that the deceased was a member of Koma Ranching and Farming Co-operative Society Limited and was allocated Plot No 146 which was later registered as Donyo Sabuk/Koma Rock 1/336 in his favour as the absolute proprietor. The Plantiffs further averred that the deceased Samuel Mwaniki alias Mwaniki Kalanza passed on November 2002,” reads the document.

The plaintiffs' lawyer Daniel Mutinda said that the case file went missing from the court after he made his submissions in court.

We have a copy of the file. The person who stole it ought to have stolen ours also.
Advocate DM Mutinda

“We do not say the file disappeared from the court, but it was misplaced. We have made an application to do another one. We are re-constructing a skeleton file to present to the court,” Mutinda said.

“We have a copy of the file. The person who stole it ought to have stolen ours also.”

He said the file was 'misplaced' on January 20, 2018.

The matter is before Justice Oscar Angote.

Clerks at the court’s registry confirmed that the case was missing.

They searched for it for about two hours last Friday when Star went to court to find out whether the case was available.

The case will be mentioned in the Environment and Land Court at Machakos on October 28.

Efforts by the Star to obtain comments were unsuccessful. the defendant's contacts were not immediately available.

(Edited by V. Graham)