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Family demands compensation by County for trespassing on their land

A Mombasa family on whose land the Mombasa County Government constructed a cabro-paved road in 2015 wants to be compensated to offset a bank loan.

The family’s bid to seek court redress to compel the County Government to compensate them with Sh56m or for the road materials to be removed by the devolved government hit a snag in 2018 after Mombasa Environment and Land Court Judge Justice Yano Charles ruled that although the action by the devolved government amountes to trespassing, he dismissed the prayers.

“The plaintiff has not been deprived of the use and benefit of his properties and in my view, he has not suffered any loss and damage.

I say so because clearly, although the plaintiff has held titles to the suit properties, he has for a long time utilised them as an access to his other properties as his own evidence confirms,” reads part of Justice Yano’s 2018 judgment.

Saniya Abdalla daughter of the late Abdalla Mohamed says the county government trespassed on their six plots in King’orani

“We went to court to show that the land belongs to my late father and he used the title deeds as security to take a bank loan to expand his hardware business,” she said adding her father carved out part of the land for access to his business.

“We were told the road is now a public property. We have been diligently paying (land) rates, and my journey to seek justice has been long. I am being taken in cycles,” decried Saniya Abdalla.

She urges Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir to fulfil his campaign pledge of revisiting all the ills of the past administration.

Her efforts to reach out to the current administration for negotiations have not borne fruits.

The family has since filed a petition at the Mombasa High Court for a review of the ruling by the Environment and Land Court.

Michael Momanyi, an activist says they want the family to get justice for their trespassed land according to the law.

He appeals for the Governor to intervene for the tussle to be resolved amicably.

“The family donated land for a mosque to be built. He made an access road for his neighbours and hardware business. All the title deeds are in the name of the late Mohamed. The family should be compensated for the road,” said Momanyi.

“The daughter has an outstanding bank loan which she is supposed to pay. She has been taken to court by the bank to pay the loan yet she is taking care of an ailing mother,” he added.Salim Karama a King’orani resident says they knew since they were growing up in the area that the land is a private property and it’s the owner’s prerogative to subdivide it as he deems fit.

He said, “We are appalled that our late neighbour has been deprived of his land yet he has title deeds. The lands were surveyed. If there was a need for a cabro road to be built the owner should have been compensated by the County government.”

By Sadik Hassan

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