Baringo Senator Gideon Kipsiele Moi is embroiled in a legal battle with his clansmen over a 100-acre prime land in Rongai, Nakuru County.
Fifty-six senior members of Moi’s Kapchepkeres clan have moved to court, accusing Senator Moi of grabbing 40 acres that former President Daniel Moi hived off for them from his 100 acres adjacent to Kabarak Farm.
Mr Simon Kipsang Yator, Mr Michael Chebon and Mr Michael Chirchir Korir have filed a suit on behalf of the clan members before the Environment and Lands Court in Nakuru, accusing the senator of illegally and fraudulently transferring their land to his name in conspiracy with the Nakuru land registrar.
Through lawyer Ochieng Gai, they claim the senator, who is the current clan patron, has subdivided and registered the land as Rongai/Rongai block 6/2 and plans to sell it to third parties.
Court documents indicate that the group (Keres Self Help Group) approached the former President in a bid to purchase part of the land adjacent to his Kabarak Farm belonging to Rift Valley Hatcheries Limited that was owned by Mzee Moi. The group had raised about Sh18 million and wanted 40 acres. Upon deliberations with the clansmen, the court heard, the former President opted to gift them with the land as their money was not sufficient to purchase such a prime parcel.
An acre in the area is valued at about Sh10 million. The court heard that the senator was always present during negotiations and transactions between Mzee Moi and his clansmen.
“The plaintiffs withdrew the money (Sh18 million) to pay the late president at his residence, but he instructed them to pay it to Senator Moi, who further instructed them to deposit it in his bank accounts,” reads the plaint.
The petitioners say Mzee Moi instructed a surveyor to subdivide the land into three parts of 40 acres to the group, 30 to Kabarak University vice chancellor Henry Kiptiony Kiplagat and 30 acres to the senator. The group’s parcel was to be transferred to its chairman, Simon Yator, before the title could be transferred to individual members. The court heard that Mzee Moi instructed the members to get a lawyer to draw all transactions, subdivision and transfer of parcels. Documents submitted in court show that all the transaction documents between Mzee Moi and the group were drawn and witnessed by lawyer Evans Korir Kipchenger of Korir and Kipchenger Advocates.
Upon getting its portion, the group members say they subdivided, occupied and developed it as they waited for the title to be processed by the senator. “Despite passing on, the late had concluded the transaction and had drawn and signed all the transfer documents to the plaintiffs and that was left for the defendant to do on his behalf was to issue title deed to the plaintiffs.”
However, the court heard that the senator called the group in March and informed them of his plan to make adjustments to the initial subdivision plan by hiving off about eight acres from the group’s 40 acres. The members objected to the move, arguing they had subdivided the land among themselves and each person had occupied it with their family members. A standoff with the legislator prompted them to file the present court case.
They sued to bar the senator and the lands registrar from interfering with their occupation of the land. They are seeking orders declaring them the legal owners of the land and compelling the Senator to issue them with the title. However, Senator Moi, in his response filed on June 27, dismissed the claims as unfounded. He denied being part of the transactions and disputed any transaction between his father and the clansmen, whom he described as busy bodies.
“The applicants claim that they were given 40 acres, yet they claim they paid me Sh18 million for the purchase of the same parcel of land. Why were they paying such a huge amount for a gift?”
He urged court to dismiss the suit. Justice Lynette Omollo directed the parties to file and serve documents before the matter is mentioned on July 26.