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Retired president Moi enjoined in trespassing case

13 October 2014, 20:55 Jospeh Njung'eh

Nairobi - A High Court judge has ruled that former President Daniel Arap Moi and Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) be enjoined in a suit where nine Samburu elderly men are accused of trespassing in a national park.

Judge Justice Anthony Ombwayo said the two should participate in an application seeking to stop prosecution of the accused persons at Nanyuki law courts on November 21, this year.

The nine men are among 249 complainants in a protracted land tussle against Kenya Wildlife Service, Moi and AWF.

According to lawyer Sunyanka Lempaa of Kituo cha Sheria, the accused persons filed an application seeking to stop prosecution, arguing that the matter was arising from another suit which is still pending in court.

They are accused of illegally trespassing into Laikipia National Park on March 13, this year.

They were arraigned in Nanyuki law courts with charges of residing in the park without authority of KWS director and also setting the park on fire.

The accused persons are further charged with illegal logging in the park and also with being in possession of spear and swords during arrest by KWS rangers.

The case was however halted by High Court after the accused persons said their rights were being violated given that they are old, poor and were thus suffering in custody.

Lawyer Lempaa told the court that the arrest was in contravention of a court order issued earlier by Judge Joseph Sergon who ordered the community be allowed to remain in the park until the initial suit is fully heard and determined.

The community moved to court in 2009 over the 17,501-acre land in which Laikipia National Park is currently situated and named KWS, AWF and Moi as respondents.

Lempaa said the land was handed to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in May 1, 1962 by the colonial government.

He said Samburu community has been living in the land since 1980s but the former president transferred the land to himself, later to AWF and finally to KWS under mysterious and unclear grounds.

He told the court that there were no land transfer documents.

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