Nairobi — The Lands Commissioner, Mrs J M Okungu, has declined to transfer the multi-billion Solio Ranch to a land buying company following a High Court ruling.
Instead, the she has asked the Attorney General, Mr Amos Wako, to appeal against the judgement by Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch directing the Government to issue Gucokaniriria Kihato Traders and Farmers company with a letter of allotment for Solio's 60,000 acres.
In a letter to the AG, the commissioner says that after perusing the title in respect of the land, she had found it was not possible to issue the letter of allotment.
"Please apply against this order and have it set aside as it is evident that the facts were not brought to the attention of court during the hearing," Mrs Okungu wrote.
The letter is copied to Solio Ranch's lawyers, Hamilton Harrison and Mathews and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands.
She has stated that the land comprising of 58,702 acres is registered in favour of Solio Ranch for a term of 944 years from August 1965.
She further says this being a private property the commissioner has no power to allocate land, which has been alienated in accordance with section 3 of the Government Lands Act.
The commissioner says a court order dated July 10, had been presented to her in respect of the case, HCCC 1251 of 2002 filed by Gucokaniriria Kihato Traders and Farmers.
She says that the Government had acquired part of the land measuring 94.010 acres in 1974 for the purposes of realignment of the Nyeri Nyahururu road.
A caveat was placed on the land in January 1976 to protect government's interest in respect to the portion acquired for the road.
The caveat, according to Okungu, was removed on December 31, 1990, to facilitate the transfer of land measuring 147.7 hectares in favour of Lucy Wairimu Weru.
"The land was never reverted to the Government as the leasehold interest in favour of Solio Ranch has not expired. The balance of the land transferred to LW Weru and the acquisition, being LR 11571/R, was never surrendered to the Government," writes the commissioner.
The ownership saga of the prime ranch exploded last month after Justice Aluoch ruled that she was satisfied that the ranch was given to Gucokaniriria Traders in 1973.
The company had sued the Attorney General, who was represented by E Kaka, seeking to compel the Commissioner of Lands to issue them with the letter of allotment.
The company testified that after being given the land by the late President Jomo Kenyatta, their letter of allotment was snatched by two CID officers who raided their offices and took away cash and documents.
Ten years after the raid, the company successfully sued the government which was compelled to pay the money taken by the two CID officers but their prayer that the documents be returned were never honoured prompting them to sue the AG in 2002.
Edward Parfet, a director of Solio Ranch has since gone to court seeking the review of the judgment. The AG has also indicated that he was dissatisfied with the ruling and filed a notice of appeal.