advertisement

Economy

Herders appeal Moi’s Sh400m land sale to KWS

Members of the Samburu community during a past hearing of the land ownership case at a Nyeri court. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI
Members of the Samburu community during a past hearing of the land ownership case at a Nyeri court. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI 

Members of the Samburu community have filed an appeal against a decision to dismiss a case in which they had sued former president Daniel arap Moi for transferring 17,105 acres in Laikipia North to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) for Sh400 million.

Through lawyer Suyianka Lempaa, the community wants the June 2017 ruling by the Environment Court ordering the eviction of its members from the disputed land set aside. The appeal is based on 12 grounds, among them the decision to slap them with costs of the suit amounting to more than Sh11 million.

The lawyer said the community relied on the land, which was hived off the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, for livelihood, sustenance and survival.

The community accused Mr Moi of transferring the 17,105 acres of their ancestral land to KWS at a cost of Sh400 million in 2011 and later to Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) without considering their fate.

After an eight-year court battle, the High Court in June rejected the communities claim, clearing the way for the land to be turned into Laikipia National Park, the KWS, prompting the appeal from the community.

At its heart, the row is about whether the Samburu squatted on the land from the early 1980s, as they testified in court, or whether they invaded after the AWF bought it.

In its June judgment, the court dismissed the adverse possession claim as Moi only owned the land for 11 years prior to the 2009 evictions, after buying it in late 1997 from Ol Pejeta.

advertisement