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Widow reclaims land in Upper Hill as land court reverts seized title

While dismissing a claim by Masto Holding Ltd, Lady Justice Kossy Bor (pictured) said parcel referenced as 209/522/2 (L.R Number 3255/1) situated in Upper Hill, Nairobi belongs to Wanjiru/FILE – Africa Network for Anal Welfare (ANAW)

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – The Environment and Land Court (ELC) has ruled that a controversial plot in Upper Hill belongs to Judith Wanjiru Njenga, an elderly woman who has been battling to reclaim back the property.

While dismissing a claim by Masto Holding Ltd, Lady Justice Kossy Bor said parcel referenced as 209/522/2 (L.R Number 3255/1) situated in Upper Hill, Nairobi belongs to Wanjiru.

“The court finds that the plaintiff (Masto Holding limited) has failed to prove its claim on a balance of probabilities and it is hereby dismissed,” Justice Bor ruled on Thursday.

The judge said Wanjiru proved that the alleged auction of the property did not take place and allowed her counterclaim.

The land was initially registered in the name of Andrew Njenga who is now dead. He was Wanjiru’s husband.

An attempt to evict the widow was thwarted by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who was then Nairobi Senator.

Governor Sonko intervened after hundreds of goons hired by a land grabber entered the property and started destroying and stealing the widow’s property.

According to the court, Masto Holding Ltd did not produce evidence to show that it was the registered proprietor of the property as its directors did not bring original title documents.

The company claimed that the late Njenga charged the suit property to Co-operative Merchant Bank Limited to secure repayment of a loan of Sh10 million.

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Masto claims that when it presented the transfer documents for registration at the land office, the Chief Land Registrar refused to transfer the property to them.

In her defense, Wanjiru denied the firm’s claim stating that she purchased the suit property with her late husband in 1974 and that they built their matrimonial home on it and have been in possession of the suit land to date.

She admitted that her late husband entered into a transaction with the General Manager of Co-operative Merchant Bank Limited sometime in 2001 where he presented his title to the bank as a guarantee to secure a loan previously borrowed by Gwama Enterprise Limited.

Wanjiru averred that her late husband executed the charge on June 6, 2001 but Anthony Kamunda, the General Manager of Cooperative Merchant Bank Limited died before any transaction went through.

She denied that her late husband took a loan of Sh10 million as alleged and maintained that no documentary evidence of the loan and default by her late husband has ever been provided. She denied that an auction took place as alleged by Masto Holdings.

Her husband died on July 7, 2010 and she applied for letters of administration for the estate and the grant was confirmed and issued on November 22, 2010.

Her attempts to get other documents in relation to the sale of the suit property were futile and she was only given copies of the charge but not the letter of offer or the statements relating to the loan.

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