Ksh8 bilion Karen land defendants hold illegal title, Miller tells court

Lawyer Cecil Miller has asked a trial court to declare a Title Deed purportedly issued to businessmen laying claim over the disputed Ksh8 billion Karen land in Nairobi, illegal.

The veteran lawyer was referring to a Certificate Title number I.R 32276 over land Reference Number 3586/3 purportedly issued to Habenga Holdings Limited by the Director of Surveys and subsequently transferred to Jina Enterprises and Telesource.Com Limited who are defendants in the ongoing case.

Miller said the evidence adduced in court points to Muchanga Investments being the only company whose name appears on the title deed of prime piece of land in the leafy Karen suburbs.

He was leading the plaintiff principal witness, Dimitri Da Gama Rose, a son of the deceased owner of the estate in his evidence who told court that "no other company has so far produced any title deed to prove ownership of the disputed 134.4 acres of land.

Miller: In conclusion, what do you as this court to do?

Witness: I pray for judgement against the defendants that the plaintiff . Muchanga Investments Limited is the lawful owner of all that parcel of Land known as Land Ref, No. 3586/3 Original Number 3586/2/2.

Miller also led the witness to ask the court to declare that the title held by Muchanga is legally valid.

The title number I.R 37285 over Land Ref NO. 3586/3 was issued to Muchanga Investments limited on February 11 1983, the trial court heard.

Among the prayers sought is also that a declaration be made against the defendants that they hold an illegal title.

Further, that the director of Surveys alleged approval of the subdivision of the land together with all deed plans in respect thereof issued to the 3rd defendants was an illegality.

Miller has so far obtained an injuction against defendants stopping them from any dealings in the land although in the last proceedings he prayed for a permanent injunction "restraining then from presenting any purported subdivisions or Deed Plans for approval and/or registration.

Miller said sale agreements or transfer documents do not confer ownership but the "duly registered documents produced in court by Muchanga puts the land squarely in its possession."

He again took the witness through documentation showing that Barclays Bank from whom Muchanga bought the estate had been appointed the executor of the will of the original owner of the land, the late Arnold Bradley.

The lawyer said the title deed produced in court does not show that Barclays Bank dealt with Telesource.Com Limited, owned by former National Social Security Fund managing trustee Josephat Konzolo in any way.

He also said the title does not bear the names of Habenga Holdings Limited, Jina Investments, John Mugo Kamau or Carmelina Mburu, the widow of a former provincial commissioner, the late John Mburu.

He said no transfer documents have been produced in court by any other person or company besides those of Muchanga Investments Ltd, owned by Mr Horatius Da Gama Rose.

Hearing continues in July.