Kenya ex-President loses court appeal over disputed landBy WANJIRU MACHARIA | Thursday, August 9 2012 at 15:42
Kenya's Court of Appeal has ordered former President Daniel Moi to vacate a contested 100-acre tract of land.
The court gave Mr Moi six months to return the land to large scale farmer Malcom Bell.
The tract of land is part of Moi's expansive Kabarak farm in the Rift valley region. On the farm is Moi's country home and a top-notch high school and a university which Moi put up when he was in power.
In a judgement read by Lady Justice Martha Koome Thursday, the court overturned a High Court ruling that had given the land to Mr Moi on grounds of adverse possession.
Justice Muga Apondi had earlier ruled that Mr Moi had occupied the land for 12 uninterrupted years and according to the law, the farm belonged to him.
Null and void
However, the appellate court quashed Justice Apondi's ruling saying that while the former president had entered into a deal with Mr Bell, it was not honoured.
The court said Mr Bell had agreed to give the land to Mr Moi in exchange for electricity and water supply.
Mr Moi did not keep his part of the deal, the court ruled, and therefore the agreement was null and void.
The six-month window would allow Mr Moi to harvest crops in the farmland before the land reverts to Mr Bell's son.
The court also said it did not know the status of Moi High School, Kabarak that stands on the 100-acre farm.
The school started off as a public institution but is now a private learning centre owned by Mr Moi.
The former president has a final recourse of appealing the ruling before the Supreme Court.
Mr Moi was in power for 24 years, retiring in 2002.
His regime was a regular target of campaign groups for being dictatorial and for human rights abuses.
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