Rigathi Gachagua obtains court order extension barring sale of disputed land

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua in Eldama-Ravine, Baringo, on September 24, 2022. PHOTO | NMG

The Environment and Land Court has extended an order barring the sale or transfer of a disputed parcel of land near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) worth Sh1.5 billion, claimed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

The DP wants the court to declare him the property owner, claiming a retired Lands official tampered with records at the registry and obtained a title deed in 2019.

Mr Gachagua, through his lawyer, told Justice Oguttu Mboya on Monday that he would pursue the case even after it emerged that John Michael Ohas had withdrawn an earlier suit challenging the DP’s title deed.

Mr Ohas had initially sued Mr Gachagua seeking revocation of his title deed claiming it was fraudulent but withdrew it to defeat a counter-suit, his lawyer Philip Nyachoti told the judge.

Mr Gachagua, in his petition, claims Mr Ohas illegally obtained the title deed in December 2019 and registered it in his company’s name Columbus Two Thousand Ltd.

The DP says he purchased the land for Sh24 million from Peter Nduati and Pauline Muringe, who owned it through Karandi Farm ltd. He says the duo were allocated the land in 1999 for Sh554,000.

In his petition, Mr Ohas, a former director of physical planning in the Ministry of Lands, claimed he had been allocated the land in 1994 by former President Daniel Moi, among others, including former minister Taita Towett, Francis Maritim and Afro-Anglo Investment.

He says he later learnt that land had been transferred to Wamunyoro Investment ltd, where the MP and his wife are listed as directors.

Mr Ohas later sought the intervention of the National Land Commission (NLC) in April 2017, who upheld the title in favour of Wamunyoro Investment Ltd and gazetted it in the Kenya Gazette on July 17, 2017.

Mr Gachagua says the High Court later affirmed the NLC’s decision in November 2020, but Mr Ohas filed another case but withdrew it in June 2022.

The Deputy President wants the court to declare the new records at the Ministry of Lands fraudulent. He is also seeking damages.

The judge barred Mr Ohas from selling or transferring the disputed land pending the determination of the case, which was adjourned to October 23.

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.