The family of the late Moi-era politician Mark Too can now sigh with relief after the Supreme Court barred squatters from laying claim on their 23,000-acre parcel valued at billions of shillings.
In a ruling delivered on Friday, Chief Justice Martha Koome-led bench approved the consolidated lawsuits filed by Fanikiwa Limited, a firm associated with the Too family, Lonrho Agribusiness Limited as well as individuals David Korir, Mary Jepkemboi Too and Sophie Jelimo Too.
The apex court further directed the squatters not to lay claim on any section of the parcel determining that the Too family had purchased the land.
“The 1st respondent herein, to wit, Sirikwa Squatters Group, its agents, members, servants, employees and/or representatives are hereby permanently restrained from entering, taking possession of and in any other manner interfering with Fanikiwa’s (the 1st appellant) quiet possession of the suit properties,” read the ruling in part.
The late nominated MP Mark Too at a past event.
“We declare that the finding by the superior courts below to the effect that the retired President’s approval of allocation of the suit parcels and the subsequent surrender of the titles was for purposes of settling Sirikwa’s members, violated and arbitrarily deprived the 3rd appellant herein, Lonrho Agribusiness, of its rights over and interests in the suit parcels as guaranteed under Article 40 of the Constitution.”
The court further directed the participants in the suit to foot own costs of the suit.
The Too family and managers of Fanikiwa Limited rushed to the Supreme Court demanding a retrial after losing the case in both the High Court and the subsequent appeal in the Appellate Court.
The family, which was represented by Lawyer Fred Ngatia argued before the bench that their clients did not grab the parcels as alleged.
Instead, they argued that the company had legally purchased the land from previous owners.
The case was first filed by the squatters group in 2012 and the first ruling was delivered in 2017 where the title deeds held by the Too family were revoked.
The family then filed an appeal soon after which upheld the High Court ruling.
“Having found that Too was part and parcel of the 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 acres to Too,” read the ruling at the time prompting the family to head to the Supreme Court.
In its latest ruling, the Supreme Court set aside in their entirety the judgment and orders of the trial and appellate courts.
The front view of the Supreme Court of Kenya building in Nairobi.