Inside Politics

Court saves Busia Airstrip from 22 land grabbers

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 14:51 |
Activist Okiya Omtatah. PHOTO/COURTESY

Busia High court has stopped 22 businessmen from grabbing the Busia Airstrip land pending a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.

Justice Ann Omollo while giving her ruling said that the petition by the activist has merit and has a chance of success.

"From the foregoing analysis, I reach a finding that the application is merited. I proceed to grant the orders as prayed," the judge ruled.

The judge further issued conservatory orders restraining the respondents whether by themselves or their servants or agents from occupying, causing any damage, cultivating, developing, converting to using, transferring or alienating Busia Airstrip land including land registering as private property under the deeds or subdivisions pending hearing and determination of the suit.

Omollo gave the orders after activist Okiya Omtatah moved to court seeking to stop the illegal and unconstitutional grabbing of the said land by the businessmen.

Omtatah argued that the constitutional rights of Kenyans have been gravely compromised and violated through the illegal grabbing.

The activist asked the court to dispose of the question of the rightful owner of the Busia Airstrip land than wait to do so in a municipality of suits saying it will benefit the court in the pursuit of justice since it presents a more comprehensive history.

"That it is overriding and overwhelming interests of justice that it's disposed to determine whether or not Busia Airstrip land is a public property," the petition by Omtatah read in part.

The County Government of Busia which is an interested party in the petition argued that the respondents have fraudulently and illegally obtained turtles to the land thereby putting selfish private interests that cannot override public interests.

An affidavit by Everlyne Teresia Mbingi who is the chief officer of the county government in charge of Lands, Housing and Urban Development added that the action of the businessmen is a classic example of the fraud perpetrated affecting the land in issue duly acquired, reserved and utilised by the government of Kenya as Busia Airstrip land from 1960s.

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