Mark Too family loses 25,000 acre Eldoret land to Sirikwa squatters

Sirikwa Squatters vs Mark Too

William Choge, Secretary for Sirikwa Squatters Group displays a document claiming they won a court case against the late Mark Too, over ownership of a 25,000 acres land in Eldoret.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The family of the late former powerful Kanu politician Mark Too has suffered a blow after they lost control of a 25,000-acre tract of land in Eldoret following a Court of Appeal judgement delivered on Friday.

Despite having been given 67.5 acres of the 25,000 acres by the High Court, the Too family also lost that particular parcel of land with the Appellate court describing the late President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi’s blue-eyed boy’s acquisition of the land as ‘misrepresentation and fraudulent’.

On February 9, 2017 the High Court in Eldoret ruled the case in favour of the Sirikwa Squatters Group, prompting the Too family to appeal.

In the 2017 ruling, Justice Anthony Ombwayo agreed with the squatters that the property belonged to their forefathers before they were kicked out to give way for the plantations.

The judge had also directed the Too family to retain not less than 67.5 acres from the disputed 25,000 acres.

But the Court of Appeal said there was no basis or justification for the award of the 27 hectares (67.5 acres) to Mr Too, saying the late President Moi ally was “simply the prime mover in the scheme to swindle Sirikwa of the surrendered land and cannot be described by any stretch of imagination as an innocent purchaser.”

“Having found that Mr Too was part and parcel of the misrepresentation and fraudulent allocation and transfer, to himself and Fanikiwa, of the parcels of land that were expressly surrendered for settlement of the Sirikwa squatters, we find no basis or justification for the award of the 27 hectares to Mr Too,” the three-judge-bench said in their judgement.

“The transaction relating to the 27 hectares was tainted by fraud and misrepresentation and was completely unworthy of protection by the court.”

Sirikwa Squatters vs Mark Too

Members of Sirikwa Squatters Group demonstrate on the 25,000 acres farm behind Eldoret International Airport after police allegedly demolished structures they were building on June 10, 2022. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Court had framed the 17 grounds raised in the appeal to five issues for determination which included:  Whether Fanikiwa’s (a limited liability company against the respondent, Sirikwa Squatters Group (Sirikwa) - an amalgamation of over 500 squatter families - right to be heard as well as that of the enjoined respondents was violated.

The other matters were whether Sirikwa’s legitimate expectation could override express provisions of the law; whether, upon conversion from the Registration of Titles Act to the Registered Land Act, the titles acquired by Fanikiwa and the enjoined respondents were indefeasible; whether the allocation of the suit properties to Sirikwa was legitimate.

The case also sought to find out whether the titles held by Fanikiwa and the enjoined respondents arising from the suit properties were legitimate.