Milimani estate
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Lawyer v 3 others: A tale of one plot, four titles in Nakuru’s Milimani estate

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Residential houses at Nakuru's Milimani estate.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

In the serene expanse of Nakuru's posh Milimani estate, a 2.5 acre plot of land is the subject of a legal quagmire between seasoned lawyer Wilfred Konosi and three individuals.

What makes this dispute more than a routine land tussle is not just the conflicting ownership assertions, but the emergence of multiple titles vying for dominance over the contested property.

At the centre of the controversy is the question of whether or not the parcel was subdivided and portions of it leased to private citizens after it emerged that it has both the mother lease title as well as three others arising from its subdivisions.

From its origins as government-owned, the land now stands at the center of a struggle for control, with each party weaving its own narrative about its ownership before the courts.

Mr Konosi, a senior Nakuru lawyer is seeking to acquire the entire parcel in adverse possession after claiming to have been in peaceful occupation of it for over 20 years.

He has sued Saleh Hassan, Herman Ngari Kirika (deceased) and a businessman Majid Mohamed whom he wants evicted from the land.

Mr Konosi claims the parcel, Nakuru municipality block 11/66,  has never been subdivided while the three individuals claim it was subdivided by the government to give rise to Nakuru Municipality block 11/678, 11/679 and 11/680 measuring 1.2 acres, 0.99 acres and 0.49 acres respectively.

The lawyer claims to have entered into the land in 2000 with consent from the initial owner,  Mr Kennedy Nyabwari Bosire, who allegedly leased it from the municipal council of Nakuru for a period of 99 years from June 1, 1998.

However, he stated that some unknown individuals had tried to subdivide the land in 1999,  giving rise to the three portions with an intention to sell it to other people.

Mr Konosi claims the mother lease title still exists and that the original owner, Mr Bosire, was never invited to surrender it in order to give rise to the other three titles.

According to him, the other lease titles are not genuine as they were issued while the mother title existed.

He moved to court in 2017 and obtained orders stopping the three individuals from trespassing, developing and dealing with the parcel pending hearing and determination of the case.

In 2019, Mr Konosi further sued the said Mr Bosire seeking to be declared the owner of the parcel by adverse possession.

He sought to have the title registered in the name of Mr Bosire be revoked and a new one issued in his name.

Furthermore, Mr Konosi sought to have the said Bosire permanently restrained from interfering with or trespassing the land.

In his application, Mr Konosi claims he had expressed interest in purchasing the land before he moved into the house that was erected on it in 2000.

The purported purchase failed after Bosire sold the land to another person who in turn placed a caution on it when Mr Konosi refused to vacate it in 2003.

“The plaintiff avers that the defendants title over the block 11/66 has been extinguished by operation of the law and that he has acquired the title by way of adverse possession and further avers that he has a legitimate expectation of being registered as proprietor,” stated Mr Konosi in his court papers.

General Law however, provides that one cannot acquire a public land under adverse possession, as one can only acquire land from a private owner, under adverse possession, if they possess the land for 12 years, without interruptions, but with the knowledge of the owner.

Mr Ngari, whose estate is being represented by his wife has however, defended his claim to block 11/678 by accusing the lawyer of interfering with his property.

He faulted the lawyer for filing the suit without the consent of the alleged owner Mr Bosire whom he has also sued in a different case seeking to acquire his land through adverse possession.

Mr Ngari claimed the land in question Nakuru Municipality block 11/66 was subdivided long before the lawyer took possession and that he purchased the land for a valuable consideration.

He claimed to have been paying rates and all the relevant dues to the local authority and even managed to obtain approvals from the county to develop the property in 2008.

“I was not involved in any alleged subdivision of block 11/66 as alleged by plaintiff and I am not aware if ever challenged any such subdivision if he was dissatisfied,” stated Mr Ngari.

Mr Majid on his part claimed to have purchased his parcel block 11/680 measuring one acre from Mr Mwongela Munywoki who had been issued with a lease in 2000 and was issued with his own lease in 2007.

According to him, he did the due diligence and confirmed that the land was unoccupied before purchasing.

“The plaintiff is trying to take over my land with baseless claims of adverse possession even after admitting that the land was subdivided,” he states.

In 2019, Mr Kirika and Majid separately wrote to the Secretary Judicial Service Commission to object to Mr Konosi's application for appointment to be a high court judge over the matter.

Mr Ngari claimed Mr Konosi was not fit to be on the seat of justice after accusing him of using his profession and knowledge to trample on the rights of others.

“The applicant is under active criminal probe by the directorate of criminal investigation over similar conduct where he has grabbed land and holds himself to Nakuru Municipality block 11/680,” read part of the letter dated June 20,2019.

The matter is slated for hearing before Justice Anthony Ombwayo on July 2 and 3.