Counties

Court dismisses land suit between hotelier, Dutch athlete Kiplagat

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Summary

  • A judge has dismissed a boundary dispute between Kenyan born Dutch athlete Lorna Kiplagat and her neighbour in Iten who rushed to court fearing that his removal from a contested block might block a path to his four-star hotel.
  • Justice S.M. Kibunja dismissed the case by Kerio View Investments Ltd, saying there was no justifiable reason to revive the case that was dismissed five years ago.

A judge has dismissed a boundary dispute between Kenyan born Dutch athlete Lorna Kiplagat and her neighbour in Iten who rushed to court fearing that his removal from a contested block might block a path to his four-star hotel.

Justice S.M. Kibunja dismissed the case by Kerio View Investments Ltd, saying there was no justifiable reason to revive the case that was dismissed five years ago.

The Environment and Land Court judge said the case between Ms Kiplagat and John Eric Butler Williams, director of Kerio View Investments, was dismissed in December 2015 after the businessman failed to prosecute it.

“That unless the order of April 10, 2015, was first reviewed, set aside and or vacated and the suit reinstated, the only proceeding that could procedurally, lawfully or regularly take place was on costs and execution thereof,” said the judge said.

He said the fact that the parties proceeded to litigate and take directions in a case that had already been dismissed was unfortunate.

“That the situation would have been different had the defendants filed a defence that had a counterclaim because further proceedings on the counterclaim would have continued if not affected by the dismissal order,” said Justice Kibunja.

Mr Williams moved to court last year, saying the dismissal of the case was wrong because he was never served with a notice.

He said he risked eviction yet a 4-Star Hotel stands on the disputed property that handles international clientele.

Mr Williams said a paragliding path over the suit land is a natural feature created by God and is among the four in the world.

He said the case was initially filed in 2016 and after appearing in court several times, the parties entered a consent, among others things, for Elgeyo Marakwet County surveyor to demarcate a boundary.

On her part, Ms Kiplagat sought an order for Kerio View Investments Company Limited to move from the land and in default, the company be removed forcibly by the police in Iten and a survey be conducted.

She said the land had been registered in the name of Hill Ten Company Limited, where she is the director and she has been wrongly sued instead of suing her company.

The athlete said Mr Williams had retained the land illegally and continues to draw commercial income from the property he did not own, yet the case had been dismissed. She denied the allegations that the four-star hotel sits on the land but a different parcel. The judge agreed with her, saying Mr Williams was slow and did not intend to prosecute his case after he obtained an order stopping his removal in December 2012.