July 25, 2024

 Mombasa Court Set to Rule on Land Case Involving a Tycoon

Mombasa High Court (Photo/ Courtesy)

By The COAST Team

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

A Mombasa high court will finally deliver its ruling on September 25, 2024 on a petition where the National Lands Commission ( NLC) was ordered to recover Ksh1.8 billion money illegally paid to a Mombasa tycoon Mohammed Jaffar through his Miritini Free Port Limited.

The tycoon is sais to have irregularly been allocated the money for a parcel of land that he had been accused of acquiring illegally at Jomvu area of Mombasa.

Justice Ogla Sewe issued the direction on Thursday July 4, 2024 after postponing the much anticipated ruling which was supposed to have been delivered in June 6, 2024.

The Judge who had been on official engagements in Nairobi told the parties in the matter that she did not have enough time to prepare the ruling.

“The court is not set to deliver the ruling since it’s not yet ready. I had attended an official engagement in Nairobi and didn’t have enough time to prepare the ruling. However; I will render my ruling on July 4. I also direct that the existing interim orders be extended to the same date,” the judge said.

In the matter, Jaffar, also the properiator of the East and Central Africa’s largest Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd, had been sued by squatters who sought for compelling orders to have him  refund the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) compensation money that he illegally acquired from the government based on his Miritini firm premises.

The squatters – Theresia Runji, Marietta Gitonga, Naomi Kiio and Sammy Kara – in their submissions and sworn affidavits informed the court that the NLC had made illegal payment to Miritini Free Port Limited a company owned by the tycoon.

According to the court records, the petitioners also told the court that NLC under the instructions of the then chairman Mohammed Swazuri illegally compensated the firm with more money without considering that the petitioners had not been compensated at all.

The squatters said they were allocated the land by the government in 1996 when they were moved from Bombolulu after the land was acquired for construction of a children’s home.

They were shocked when the NLC cancelled the survey and instead consolidated the two plots and issued the same to Migdad Enterprises.

They later ran to Mombasa High Court and it issued a conservatory order suspending allocation of the land.

The NLC chairman, Swazuri, in disregard of the Court order, instead directed for the registration of the land to Miqdad, which later sold it to Miritini Free Port Ltd owned by Jaffer and family that later surrendered to the government in exchange for compensation.

However, Mombasa County and the Attorney General had confirmed that the land belonged to the squatters and recommended that the ownership rights be granted to Theresia Runji, Marietta Gitonga, Naomi Kiio and Sammy Kara who are the petitioners in the matter.

The squatters who produced original title deed showed the Court a letter annexed NLC/Chairman/VOL/XIII/275 from NLC which indicated that the land was grabbed and transferred to Miritini Free Port from Migdad which only had an allotment letter.

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