Drama in Machakos as 5 children dumped in court over 34yr land dispute
There was drama at a Machakos court on Friday when two women abandoned five children to protest delay in ruling over a land dispute that has dragged on for 34 years.
Mbwele Muoki had been sitting quietly with her daughter-in-law and grandchildren as the hearing continued.
As soon as the trial judge Eric Angote mentioned the next date of hearing, she suddenly stood up and said:
“You cannot keep on postponing judgement while we continue to suffer. Are you tormenting us because we are widows? We will abandon these children here for the government to take care of them as it does to destitutes, ” Mbwele told the judge in Kikamba language.
True to their word, the two women walked out of the courtroom leaving the haggard-looking children behind.
“This is a very old matter. Tell the advocates that once I give a hearing date there should be no further adjournments,” said Justice Angote before leaving the court.
Members of the public who had attended court also dispersed leaving the bewildered children behind.
Their mother and the elderly woman sat outside the courtroom and it was not clear whether they later took their children.
When the we later spoke to the women, they said judgment on the case had been delivered on April 5, 2018 but the person who has been occupying their land appealed.
Mbwele said the 11.3-hectare land located in Kaseve village near Wote town in Makueni subcounty was allegedly sold at a cost of Ksh.29,000.
Her stepson Muli Muoki apparently sold the land to an ‘influential’ son of a former chief– Mutie Kioko– in 1984 and disappeared never to be seen again.
She claimed that this forced her to bury two of her sons Waviti and John Muoki at Makueni Cemetery and at a relative’s home at Malivani village since the land ownership was in dispute.
Mbwele and her kin have been living in Tamu Tamu village in Kathonzweni subcounty on land donated by a well-wisher for the 34 years that the case has dragged on.
The court had ruled that Mbwele is the rightful owner of the land and ordered for the eviction of the unlawful occupant but he moved to court to block the move.
In 2009, a certificate of confirmation of grant issued by Justice Isaac Lenaola at Machakos High Court showed that Mbwele Muoki and Denis Muoki were given a grant of representation to the estate of the late Muoki Muasya.
Another ruling delivered in 2010 by the Environment and Land court in Machakos indicated that Mutie Kioko, the defendant purchased the piece of land from strangers and not from the lawful owner Muoki Muasya, the deceased.
“In any event, Mutie Kioko has no lawful interests in this estate and he can pursue a refund of his money from those that illegally received it,” reads the ruling delivered by Justice Angote.
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