A widow in Mombasa has lost her prime property valued at Ksh100 million after failing to lay claim since the property was acquired by her husband.
According to a report by The Standard on Monday, June 8, the widow, Loise Nduta, lost the parcel of land located in Mtwapa after failing to make an immediate possession since the parcel was bought in 1972.
Court of Appeal Judges Agnes Murgor and Daniel Musinga reverted the land to its original owner Aziza Said Hamisi who had been residing on the parcel and developed it.
In their ruling, the judges noted that Nduta had no right to lay claim since 40 years had elapsed without her formal possession while the law provided a 12-year maximum.Lady Justice Agnes Murgor at a past conference
"Since she neglected to take steps to recover the disputed property within 12 years, the law is clear that her title to the property was extinguished.
"There is evidence the owner has been in quiet possession of the land and we have no reason to interfere with her occupancy," they ruled.
Nduta had claimed that her husband had purchased the parcel and even provided a title deed that he was awarded.
The family then started following up on the property in 2015 only to find that Hamisi had already developed it and was residing on it.
Hamisi, on the other hand, denied any knowledge that her family had sold the property to Nduta's husband in 1972.
In their ruling, the judges cited section 17 of the Lands Act which stipulated that once the period of 12 years of adverse possession expired without an action to recover the land, the title of the registered owner of the land stands extinguished.
"A right of action to recover land does not accrue unless the land is in the possession of some person in whose favour the period of limitation can run (which possession is in this Act referred to as adverse possession), and, where under sections 9, 10, 11 and 12 a right of action to recover land accrues on a certain date and no person is in adverse possession on that date, a right of action does not accrue unless and until some person takes adverse possession of the land.
"For the purposes of this section, receipt of rent under a lease by a person wrongfully claiming, in accordance with section 12(3), the land in reversion is taken to be adverse possession of the land," reads a section of the Act.A court Gavel.
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