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Ruto objects to KES 5M payment in land case

28 February 2014, 12:46 Millicent Kawii

Nairobi - Deputy President William Ruto Thursday challenged a court decision ordering him to pay KES 5 million to Gilbert Muteshi for taking his 100-acre farm.

Through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi standing in for Ruto’s lawyer Katwa Kigen who is at the Hague, the Deputy President filed papers saying that the judgment found no fault against him in the process of acquiring, transferring and owning the farm.

Lawyer Kilukumi prayed that the court extend orders prohibiting the execution of the judgment saying that he foresaw danger if it were implemented.

The Deputy President, on his part, alleged that the decision placed the blame of trespass on him while his entry, possession and ownership of the parcel was licensed by the Commissioner of Lands and the Lands Registrar.

Ruto said that pending the hearing and determination of his appeal, he would deposit the Sh5 million in an interest earning account to be maintained by him and Muteshi’s lawyer.

The Deputy President is seeking a stay of the decision awarding Muteshi the amount until the appeal is determined.

“I will suffer substantial loss if a stay is not granted on grounds that include the impression of fault created by the obligation to pay and the uncertainty as to recovery of the amount if paid,” he said.

Ruto also said that he already offered to surrender the ownership and possession of the parcel immediately.

“The decision to surrender the land was as a result of the Lands Registrar and the Commissioner of Lands, admitting that the parcel was irregularly transferred,” he said.

The Deputy President also argues that the decision did not determine the role and any culpability of the Commissioner of Lands and the Lands Registrar in the conveyance, yet it placed the blame on among others, a Hosea Ruto.

The land, Tapsagoi Settlement Scheme in Turbo area of Uasin Gishu County, was grabbed after the 2007-2008 tribal clashes and was allegedly sold to Ruto by one Dorothy Jemutai.

A judgment concerning the ownership of the land was made on June 28, 2013 by Justice Roseline Ougo in favour of Muteshi and an order to surrender the parcel with a compensation of Sh 5 million given.

However, Justice Mary Gitumbi postponed the hearing of the application and ordered it to be placed before Justice Ougo who initially handled the case in its entirety.

The case will thus be heard on March 3.

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