A case in which the High court ordered Mr Moi to pay a family sh1 billion for 53 acres acquired illegally, adds to the growing list of suits filed against the former president and which might illuminate the rapacity of the former head state.
In May 2019, the High Court in Eldoret, ordered the former president and Rai Plywood (K) Ltd to pay Sh1 billion to the family of ex-chief Noah Chelugui whose land Moi grabbed in September 1983, then later sold to a firm owned by the Jaswant Rai family.
In April, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission moved to repossess prime land located within Eldoret town centre, after the Environment and Lands Court ruled that the land was irregularly transferred to Lima Ltd. Lima Ltd was jointly owned by Moi and the Nicholas Biwott, a former Cabinet minister. The retired president and the late Biwott formed the company in 1975 to take advantage of the Africanisation policy that was established in the 1970s, with the objective of loosening European and Asian businessmen’s grip on the economic power. The titles of the land were later used to secure a loan by Transnational Bank, another business owned by Moi and Biwot. On this plot stands the Eldoret Fire Station, the AP camp, the High Court, Children’s, Environment and Land courts, the Court of Appeal and a public hospital.
In October 2010, the courts also revoked ownership of seven pieces of land by Lima Ltd located in Eldoret town.
Tulip Properties Ltd
In another case, four businessmen, Mr Mohammed Koriow Nur, Mr Simon Kiprono Laboso, Mr Macdonald Lijoodi Maraka and Noor Mohammed Hassan accused Moi of grabbing their land and transferring it to a private company. The four businessmen claim that Mr Moi illegally and without any justifiable cause transferred the 16-acre piece of land situated near City Cabanas in Nairobi to Tulip Properties Ltd. The case is still awaiting determination. as each has a title to the land worth Sh1.6 billion.
Mr Moi is also in a battle for a 20- acre piece of land claimed by United States International University-Africa (USIU-A). The university claims that the former president illegally sold the land to Dr George Kiongera for Sh500 million. In the suit, Mr Moi is accused of selling the land to both the university and Dr Kiongera’s Maestro Connections Health Systems Ltd using reconstituted title deeds.
KPL and KPA Land
In May 2016, The Environment and Lands Court in Eldoret awarded two families Sh8 billion after ruling that two state agencies forcibly took 1,150 acres of their family land during Mr Moi’s presidency. The families named Mr Moi and former assistant minister and Mosop MP, the late Stanley Metto, as some of the illegal beneficiaries of the land taken from them 30 years ago. In his ruling, Justice Ombwayo ordered Kenya Pipeline Ltd and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to pay the two families that reside in Uasin Gishu the amount for grabbing 1,150 acres from them 30 years ago.
The suit also compelled the National Lands Commission, Ministry of Lands and the Director of Survey to pay the costs. The two families and three co-owners told the court that they bought 3,236 acres in 1977. Part of it was illegally sub-divided and allocated to several individuals and State agencies without their consent.
Ombwayo awarded the estate of Thomas Kipkogei Yator (deceased) Sh3.8 billion for the loss of 546 acres. He also directed that the estate of William Kimngeny Leting (deceased) be paid Sh4.1 billion for the loss of 604 acres.
Kabarak High School
Malcolm Bell won a titanic battle after the Supreme Court ruled in his favour, giving him back 110 acres of land. Mr Bell and Mr Moi are neighbours in Kabarak where the former president has 1,080 acres (437.06 hectares) of land while Mr Bell owns 1,200 acres. In court documents, Mr Bell said that Moi High School Kabarak, owned by the retired president, through its agents, encroached onto and occupied a portion of his land measuring about 110 acres in 1986 without any transfer of land being made to the school and with no compensation being made. In his defence, Mr Moi and the school argued that Mr Bell gifted the school the land in 1993, prior to his demise and further contended that the school’s long occupancy of the land conferred adverse possessory rights of the land. The protracted case was put to rest by the Supreme Court ruling after 10 years.
Mr Moi and Mr Kulei through their company Solio Construction sold a 20-acre piece of land Roysambu Nairobi to Uchumi Supermarket in 2001. It later emerged that the land belonged to the military.
In the 80s, some ramshackle army land rovers doted the desolated land but they later disappeared. After that, Roysa Self Group tried to squat on the land. They were fought off by Uchumi and all was quiet until Uchumi got itself into a financial mess. Uchumi was in the process of selling the land to bail itself out of its financial crises when the military moved war hardware to the land and occupied the land.