25 March 2019

Kenya: Man Sues EACC for Delayed Probe on Land in Nyeri Town

A private land developer has sued the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for delaying in finalising investigations into the ownership of a multi-million property in Nyeri town.

Mr Ephantus Mabu Mate, in a case filed at the Land court, says the commission has taken more than seven years and is yet to determine the status of the prime parcel of land located along Kamakwa road, next to Outspan Hospital.

He says the EACC and the Chief Land Registrar in Nyeri started investigating the status of the property on February 8, 2012.

UNDISCLOSED INVESTIGATIONS

He further states that the registrar, with instructions from EACC, placed a restriction order on the land, prohibiting any dealings or development "awaiting finalisation of certain undisclosed investigations".

"I am the registered proprietor of the leasehold property. The said restriction is unlawful, contrary to the provisions of Section 76 and 77 of the Land Registration Act 2012," says Mr Mate in the documents.

Due to the restriction, Mr Mate says he has been prevented from developing the land and is incurring heavy losses in terms of wasted resources and anticipated future earnings.

PLANS READY

He argues that he had already prepared approved plans for development of the plot, which is on one of the rich addresses of the town.

Despite him issuing the commission with demand letters and a notice to sue, the developer says EACC is yet to act.

Mr Mate purchased the land from Ranjit Singh Sagoo and Kalwant Kaur Sagoo, who had earlier bought it from one Joseph Macharia and Catherine Nyawira Kahuria.

"The appropriate land rent, rates and stamp duties had been paid. Despite the law requiring a notice be issued to the registered proprietor of a property before a restriction is placed, I was not issued or served with any," he says.

He says the land registrar and the EACC have never informed him of the nature of the intended investigations.

Mr Mate wants the court to order for the removal of the restriction and compensation of losses in anticipated earnings.

The EACC and the land registrar, who are listed as respondents, are yet to file their response to the suit.

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