In a dramatic turn of events, a senior official at the Ministry of Lands has confirmed Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s ownership of a five-acre parcel of land in Nairobi that has been at the center of a fierce legal battle. This contradicts the claims of a businessman, John Michael Ohas, who alleged the property belonged to his company, Columbus Two Thousand Limited.
The revelation came during a hearing in the High Court on Tuesday, where Senior Assistant Chief Land Registrar Nyandoro David Nyambaso delivered a sworn affidavit. He stated that Wamunyoro Investments Limited, a company associated with Gachagua, legally acquired the property in 2012, while Ohas’ claim lacked sufficient documentation.
“Records from the ministry show that Wamunyoro Investments Limited is the registered owner of the disputed land,” Nyambaso stated. “They followed all the procedures in acquiring the land, and their title deed is genuine.”
This revelation threw a wrench into Ohas’ case, who maintains the land was initially allocated to his company in 1994. He argues that Gachagua and his associates fraudulently manipulated land records to take over the property.
However, Nyambaso’s affidavit paints a different picture. He claimed that Ohas’ company failed to fulfill the conditions set for the allocation, including accepting the government offer and paying requisite fees. This led to the revocation of the allocation in 1998, paving the way for Wamunyoro Investments Limited to acquire the property over a decade later.
“Ohas never met the conditions attached to the initial allocation, and his title was irregularly issued,” Nyambaso declared. “The land was rightfully allocated to Wamunyoro Investments Limited, and they remain the legal owners.”
The court adjourned the hearing, allowing Ohas’ lawyers to review the affidavit and prepare their response. Gachagua’s lawyers welcomed the court official’s confirmation of their client’s ownership, calling it a vindication of their position.
“We are glad the truth has come out,” stated Philip Nyachoti, Gachagua’s lead counsel. “The court official’s statement clearly shows that Mr. Gachagua is the rightful owner of the property, and any claims to the contrary are baseless.”
Ohas’ lawyers declined to comment immediately but are expected to present their counter-arguments at the next hearing. The judge will then weigh the evidence and make a final ruling on the ownership of the contested land.
This development marks a significant turning point in the legal battle. Nyambaso’s affidavit significantly strengthens Gachagua’s case and casts doubt on Ohas’ claims. However, the case is far from over, and the court’s final decision will have major implications for both parties.
As the legal drama unfolds, Kenyans watch with keen interest, particularly those concerned about land ownership and potential abuse of power within the land registry. The ultimate resolution of this case will set a precedent and offer insights into the complexities of land disputes in Kenya.