Kenya: Ruring'u Stadium Ownership Tussle Finally Resolved

19 November 2019

Sports Kenya is set to take full control of the historical Ruring'u stadium in Nyeri following an out-of-court settlement of a long-standing ownership dispute with the Agricultural Society of Kenya.

On Monday, the agency said negotiations with ASK and the county government of Nyeri had been successful and the ownership dispute had been solved.

Appearing before Justice Mary Oundo of the Environment and Lands Court Nyeri, the agency's lawyer however said the parties needed seven days to file the arbitration consent in court.

The dispute on ownership of the stadium started in 2017 after the Ministry of Sports began the process of renovating the facility.

Refurbishment of the stadium was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in February of that year and was scheduled to be complete by July 2018. However, the Trustees of the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) quickly moved to court accusing Sports Kenya and Nyeri County of trespass and encroachment on the land the stadium stands.

The stadium initially hosted an annual agricultural exhibition by ASK before the society relocated the fair to Kabiruini grounds.

ASK through their lawyer Wekesa Milimo said they were not involved in the plans to renovate the stadium.

He argued that the government disregarded land laws and property rights by taking over ownership of the land and evicting the tenants.

"ASK is the registered owner of the property in suit and unless the respondents are restrained by the court it will suffer irreparable loss and damage," the lawyer indicated.

The county government in its documents filed in court had argued that the land was registered in the name of its predecessor, County Council of Nyeri in 1958. But Milimo noted that the county government had no legal document to demonstrate ownership.

The county government further indicated that the land was donated to the then government -- under British Emperor -- by the Aithiegeni clan for sporting activities.

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