23 September 2018

Kenya: Commonwealth Silver Medallist's Mother Arrested

Gold Coast Commonwealth 800metres silver medallist Margaret Nyairera's mother will on Monday be charged in court with forcible detainer of a three-acre piece of land.

Ms Hannah Wambui spent the night in Mweiga Police Station cells in Nyeri following her arrest on Saturday over the disputed land.

The family could not raise the Sh20,000 cash bail police were demanding, forcing the 50-year-old to spend Saturday night behind bars.

According to Ms Nyairera, her mother was arrested at her home in Endarasha, Kieni West on Saturday at 3pm.

"I was called yesterday about my mother's arrest. We still do not understand fully the reason for the arrest," the athlete said.

She said that the officers, who arrested her mother, had gone to oversee the fencing off of the property.

"I understand that they had documents which they presented to my mother but she cannot read. She resorted to scream and that is when she was arrested," Ms Nyairera explained.

The disputed land was bought by the athlete after she won the 800m bronze medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The land was bought at a cost of Sh2.4million.

Documents seen by the Nation show that the land was purchased from a Mr David Kamau Kuria in September 2016 and a valid title deed issued in 2017.

However, a row has emerged after a third party claimed ownership of the land under unclear circumstances.

Ms Nyairera said that this is the first time someone is claiming ownership of the land as there haven't been a dispute over the land.

"Since we purchased the land and started building nobody came forward to claim ownership of the land so it is shocking that all this has happened so suddenly," the athlete said.

Nyairera spent a good part of Sunday at the police station trying to find out why her mother was arrested.

Kieni West Divisional Police boss Ahmed Ali confirmed that Ms Wambui will be presented in Nyeri law court on Monday to be charged with forcible detainer.

"She is in custody for now but tomorrow we will take her to court to face the charges," Mr Ahmed told the Nation.

According to the constitution, forcible detainer is considered a criminal offence.

Section 91 of the penal code states, "Any person who, being in actual possession of land without colour of right, holds possession of it, in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace or reasonable apprehension of a breach of the peace, against a person entitled by law to the possession of the land is guilty of the misdemeanour termed forcible detainer."

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