Kenya: Ex-Minister Mwatela Sues Mombasa for Sh25 Million in Land Sale Deal

18 November 2019

A former assistant minister and his wife have asked a court to compel Mombasa County to pay them Sh25 million, being the agreed buying price for a 2.5-acre parcel of land.

Mr Calist Mwatela and his wife Jacinta Mwatela, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, say the county offered to purchase the land in Mishomoroni from them on behalf of squatters.

They say they are the registered proprietors of the land yet in 2003, several people invaded it and started erecting temporary structures without their authority.

Mr Mwatela, a former assistant minister for education, and his wife further say they filed a case at the High Court seeking possession of their land and damages for trespass.

"The County Government of Mombasa thereafter intervened and offered to purchase the suit property on behalf of the squatters," they say in court documents.

THE AGREEMENT

The couple said in an application that on March 24, 2017, they entered into the deal with Mombasa through the county secretary and executed a sale agreement with Sh25 million as the buying price.

As such, they have sued Mombasa, the county chief officer of finance and planning and the county secretary.

The couple argue that the finance officer, as the accounting officer, is under public duty to settle the purchase price so the respondents should be compelled to pay them the full amount.

In his affidavit, Mr Mwatela says that on February 14 2017, they entered into a sale agreement with the county as the purchaser and as a result, they surrendered the land to squatters and did not pursue the court case they had filed.

Mr Mwatela, who is also a former Mwatate MP, says the amount was to be paid in two installments of Sh10 million, with the balance of Sh5 million being cleared within 120 days from the date of the execution of the agreement.

"Mombasa has refused to release the purchase price which is due and owed to the applicants, in breach of express terms of the sale agreement," the application states.

Justice Eric Ogola certified the application as urgent and ordered the filing of a substantive motion within 21 days.

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