Reprieve as judge bars eviction of nuns from Ngong property

The convent bought the disputed land from a third party in 2012

In Summary

• Judge rules that the convent will suffer irreparable loss if the lower court’s order is executed before the appeal is heard and determined.

• The nuns say that the lower court had no jurisdiction to hear their case which should have been determined by the Environment and Land court.

Milimani law court
Image: FILE

The High Court has rescinded a lower court's ruling that the sisters of St Mariana of Jesus Convent should vacate a disputed piece of land until the determination of an appeal they have filed.

The magistrate's court had on October 18, 2018, ruled that the sisters were trespassers on the Sh17 million property in Ngong.

Justice Aggrey Muchelule allowed the appeal (although done out of time) as the convent will suffer substantial loss if the lower court’s orders are executed since the sisters will be evicted and the convent demolished.

“The applicant shall not be evicted, but shall not undertake any further development and will not sell, lease, charge or otherwise deal with the land to detriment of Muiru’s claim,” he ruled.

Stanley Muiru is the son and administrator of the estate of Eliud Njuguna Muiru who died in January 2016.

The nuns had asked the court to allow them to file the appeal out of time and also grant a stay of the order that they should vacate the land.

Stanley objected, saying there was no explanation for the delay in filing the appeal and no security was offered.

Muchelule concurred noting that the applicants were at the time represented by a lawyer, but said the convent was exercising its right. He also did not see what prejudice Stanley will suffer if time is extended to allow the appeal.

“I allow the request to extend the time to appeal and order that the notice of appeal filed on January 9, 2019, shall be deemed as properly filed and on time,” the judge said.

The convent claims it bought the land from a third party in 2012 and was issued with a title deed in February 2013.

Stanley accuses the institution of encroaching on his father’s land.

The nuns had developed the land, believing that it was theirs.

In their appeal, they say that the lower court had no jurisdiction to hear and determine their case because it was a land dispute that should have been heard by the Environment and Land court.

The maintain that their removal from the property will cause them irreparable damage and loss as the convent will have to be pulled down.

- mwaniki fm