Court Dismisses Land Case Involving Samburu Community and Former President Daniel Moi
A Laikipia court on Wednesday dismissed a land case filed by 248 members of the Samburu Community against Former President of Kenya Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi.
The Samburu people accused retired President Moi of transferring 17,105 acres of their land in Laikipia North to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in 1997.
Lady Justice Lucy Waithaka observed that the community had never owned the land neither had they expressed any intention to possess it.
The community was represented by lawyer Suiyanka Lempaa who asserted that the community had occupied the land "peaceably and openly" for more than 12 years before the former President took it.
Mr Lempaa added that the community still relied on the land for their lives, livelihoods, sustenance and survival.
"The community members have peaceably, openly, and uninterruptedly enjoyed facilities like boreholes, dams, watercourses, rivers and stock routes in the suit property for more than 20 years," he told the court.
The Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) was also named as a respondent in the case as it was established that the foundation approached former President Moi seeking to acquire the land to build the Ol Pajeta Conservancy that now occupies the land.
"The evidence on record shows that the respondents used the suit property to secure their financial obligations to financial institutions besides carrying out various development projects thereon," the court observed.
The court further advised the community to pursue their case as a constitutional petition.
"I hasten to point out that this court is not the right forum to litigate issues concerning the alleged historical injustices in the first instant," Justice Waithaka advised.
The community termed the ruling as harsh and vowed to appeal the decision.
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