TRIBUTE

How Karoney fought and won a land battle after 12 years

Father of Lands CS Farida Karoney died on Tuesday aged 74

In Summary

• With proceeds from the huge swathes of his tea farms, Karoney educated his children, among them Lands CS Farida Karoney, to the highest levels.

• On Tuesday, Karoney was knocked down by a speeding motorcycle as he tried to cross the busy Kapsabet- Eldoret highway. He died on the way to hospital. 

Edward Kiprotich Karoney was well known in his Chesumei constituency as a tea farmer. 

With proceeds from the huge swathes of his farms, Karoney educated his children, among them Lands CS Farida Karoney, to the highest levels. Most of them have excelled in their careers and in life. 

On Tuesday, Karoney was knocked down by a speeding motorcycle as he tried to cross the busy Kapsabet-Eldoret highway.

Witnesses said he had parked his car by the roadside to meet a friend at a Kobil petrol station on the other side when the incident occurred. 

He was rushed to Kapsabet County Referral Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was 74. 

The motorcyclist also sustained serious injuries and was admitted to the same hospital. 

A spirited farmer, Karoney occasionally sold tea bushes to other farmers and neighbours. Some deals went well, others did not.

A 1996 tea bush transaction was among those that went south, resulting into a protracted legal battle that was settled 12 years later in 2008.

Karoney had agreed to sell 11.7 acres with 13,225 tea plants to Joseph Samoei in July 1996 for Sh915,625.

Samoei paid Sh120,000 and committed to clearing the balance of Sh795,625 in full by August 21, 1996.

Karoney transferred the two parcels of land registration numbers C.N. 540028 and C.N. 540045 with 13,400 tea plants in July 1996.

He trusted Samoei to honour his commitment. He was wrong. Samoei reneged on the deal. 

One year later, after it was apparent that Samoei would not raise the balance, they agreed to cancel the deal but enter a fresh one on July 8, 1997.

For the new deal, they took into account the Sh120,000 paid for the initial deal, topping it up to a total of Sh516,000.  The balance of Sh229,000 was to be paid by October 25, 1997.  The money, however, was never paid.

For this reason, they agreed to transfer another smaller parcel with 4,000 tea plants for the value of the Sh516,000 he had been paid. 

In turn, Karoney demanded that Samoei returns the two parcels he had initially transferred to him with the 9,400 tea plants. Samoei refused.

Karoney rushed to court to reclaim the land. The legal battle took over a decade. 

Samoei lost in court on February 12, 2008. He was ordered to return the land to Karoney. 

 

(edited by o. owino)