JUSTICE

Ageing widow wins Upper Hill property case

Firm said her deceased husband used land to secure Sh10m loan.

In Summary

• Attempts to evict the widow were thwarted by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who was then Nairobi senator.

• Court rules Masto’s directors did not produce the original title deed to show that it was the registered proprietor.

Judith Wanjiru who was awarded her land after a long court battle.
Judith Wanjiru who was awarded her land after a long court battle.

An elderly woman has won a land suit involving property in Upper Hill, Nairobi. 

The Environment and Land Court ruled the plot in Upper Hill belongs to Judith Wanjiru Njenga, who has been battling to win it back.

Justice Kossy Bor dismissed a claim by Masto Holding Ltd that it owns the land, reference number 209/522/2 (L R Number 3255/1). 

“The court finds that the plaintiff (Masto Holding) has failed to prove its claim on a balance of probabilities and it is hereby dismissed,” the judge ruled.

 

Bor said Wanjiru proved that the alleged auction of the property did not take place and allowed her counterclaim.

The land was initially registered in the name of Andrew Njenga, Wanjiru's deceased husband. 

Attempts to evict the widow were thwarted by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who was then Nairobi senator.

Sonko intervened after goons invaded the property, and started destroying and stealing Wanjiru’s possessions.

The court ruled Masto’s directors did not produce the original title deed to show that it was the registered proprietor.

The company claimed that Njenga charged the property to Co-operative Merchant Bank Limited to secure repayment of a Sh10 million loan.

 
 

The bank realised its security but, Masto said, when it presented the transfer documents for registration at the Lands office, the chief land registrar refused to transfer the property to them.

Wanjiru denied Masto’s claim, stating that she bought the land with her husband in 1974, built their matrimonial home on it and have been in possession of it to date.

 

She admitted that Njenga presented his title deed to the general manager of Co-operative Merchant Bank Ltd sometime in 2001 to secure a loan previously borrowed by Gwama Enterprise Limited.

Wanjiru said Njenga executed the charge on June 6, 2001, but Anthony Kamunda, the general manager, died before any transaction went through.

She denied that her late husband ever took a loan of 10 million as alleged, saying no documentary evidence of the loan and default by Njenga has ever been provided. She denied that an auction took place as alleged by Masto Holding.

Njenga died on July 7, 2010, and she applied for a letter of administration for the estate, which was confirmed and issued on November 22, 2010.

Her attempts to get other documents in relation to the sale of the property were futile. She was only given copies of the charge but not the letter of offer or the statements relating to the loan.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya