A court has dismissed an application to overturn a decision of the National Land Commission (NLC) to revoke title deed held by the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) for a piece of ‘public’ land in Langa’ta.
Justice Elija Obaga found that before the church’s title was revoked in July 2017, the commission had invited the church for a hearing and to give its views on the land dispute but did not appear.
The NLC revoked the title for the plot measuring one-and-half acres occupied by ACK church of Good Shepard following a claim filed by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).
While rejecting the application by the Church Commissioners of Kenya, Justice Obaga also noted that there is a pending dispute between KeNHA and the church involving the same piece of land.
He directed the church to pursue its interest on the parcel of land in the case that is pending determination at the Environment and Land Court where the issue of the legality of title can be ventilated. On the pending case, the church has an order of temporary injunction against KeNHA until hearing and determination of the suit.
In its application, the church narrated that it was issued with an allotment letter for the property by the Commissioner of Land on February 7, 1983.
The land in Lang’ata next to Civil Servants Estate, measures 0.76 hectares.
As the plots in the area had not been properly surveyed, the Commissioner of Land issued the church with a fresh letter of allotment in 1984 but the acreage was reduced to 0.60 hectares.
The church accepted the allotment a letter dated January 27, 1984, after which the requisite fees was paid. It went on to put up a church known as ACK Church of Good Shepard.
It was issued with a title to the property on July 13, 2013, under registration LR No.Nairobi/Block 72/2256 and it constructed a sanctuary, Sunday school, office block and a nursery school.
But in July 2017 NLC directed the Chief Land Registrar to revoke the title on grounds that the land was public property.
The church contended that it was not served with any complaint by KeNHA despite the NLC claiming that it invited the affected parties through national dailies to give their views during the review process of the grants in question.
According to the church, it should have been notified through physical service as NLC was aware of its location.