Counties

Nyeri family sues county for Sh105m over land takeover

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Nyeri Water and Sewerage Company (Nyewasco) offices. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Summary

  • The family, through its 12 members, wants to be paid a sum of Sh90,720,000 plus punitive damages of Sh15 million for the acquisition of their land.

A family in Nyeri has moved to court seeking compensation of Sh105 million from the local county government for compulsory acquisition of their land 42 years ago.

The family, through its 12 members, wants to be paid a sum of Sh90,720,000 plus punitive damages of Sh15 million for the acquisition of their land.

They contend that the defunct Municipal Council forcibly took over the property without due process and without payment of compensation.

In the petition filed at the Environment and Lands Court, the family claims that in 1979 the defunct Nyeri Municipal Council alienated a piece of land owned by their late patriarch, Chege Kamau Gathoka in Aguthi/Gatitu village and acquired it without compensating him

The defunct municipal council then established a sewerage treatment plant on the land, which is now under control and usage by the Nyeri Water & Sewerage Company Ltd (Nyewasco).

However, before the hearing starts the court has removed the water utility firm from being a party in the dispute following a finding Nyewasco and its operations on the suit property are under licence and authority of the county government.

"The main question for adjudication is whether or not the alienation or forcible takeover of the suit property by the predecessor in title of the county government was unconstitutional and unlawful," said Justice Yuvinalis Angima while ruling on an application by Nyewasco seeking to be struck off from the case.

The court also noted that the governor Mutahi Kahiga-led government had not denied that it has delegated its statutory functions of provision of water and sanitation services to Nyewasco.