Senate Committee orders former MD out of contested school land

Kitale school fighting to reclaim a10 acres piece of land which was allegedly grabbed by Nathaniel Tum.

The committee led by chair Nyandarua County Senator Paul Githiomi toured the school on a fact-finding mission following a petition filed by residents who want the land in question reverted to the institution

By Sirengo Namasaka in Trans Nzoia

The senate committee on lands has initiated the process of reclaiming 10 acres of land which forms part of Kitale school that was alienated by former Kenya Seed Company managing director Nathaniel Tum.

The portion of land that Dr Tum has laid claim to includes the current girl’s dormitory, sewage system near the boy’s dormitory, and a tree nursery. The two parties have been at loggerheads since 2007 when the school started reclaiming its land.

The committee led by its chair Nyandarua County Senator Paul Githiomi toured the school on a fact-finding mission following a petition filed by residents who want the land in question reverted to the institution.

Area senator Dr Micheal Mbito however dismissed Dr Tum’s argument and instead called on him to surrender the land back to enable the institution to carry on its infrastructural developments”

The team which visited the contested portion of land instructed the Trans Nzoia lands office to ensure the land is surveyed while they prepare a report that will fast track the reclamation process, the report is expected to be ready by September.

“We are committed to ensuring the school gets back its land. We have heard from the school and the private developer and we are certain that this land belongs to the school,” Senator Githiomi spoke after the exercise.

Dr Tum who was present however defended his claim over the land saying he has all the legal documentation to justify his ownership since 1994 where he acquired from the KANU government through an allotment process.


Former Kenya Seed Company managing director Nathaniel Tum
 

“I have won all court cases challenging the legality of my ownership of this land. I have so far spent Sh 250 million in putting up development infrastructure on this land. I equally need justice since I have been wrongfully accused,” he said.

Area senator Dr Micheal Mbito however dismissed Dr Tum’s argument and instead called on him to surrender the land back to enable the institution to carry on its infrastructural developments”.

On May 10, 2010, the Commissioner of Lands cancelled the developer’s title deed by gazette notice before the new constitution came into force. The Ndung’u Land Report also reported the matter and recommended that the land be reverted to the school for public use.

The developer moved to the High Court in Kitale where Justice Joseph Karanja ruled that the proprietary rights on the land cannot be taken away from him by the judicial review as he had acquired the land procedurally per the law and there is the sanctity of title deeds.

The school appealed the ruling and the Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court that judicial review was not the remedy whether the title deed was acquired legally or illegally.

The remedy was in the National Land Commission to review whether the allotment and title issuance process was properly followed and if not, then they have the legal authority to revoke the title deed.

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