Muteshi, the man who sued Ruto over grabbed land dies

Thursday, October 29th, 2020 00:00 |
Mzee Adrian Muteshi.

Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

A man who won a land dispute against Deputy President William Ruto eight years ago has died.

Adrian Muteshi died in Nairobi on Tuesday aged 86 years.

An obituary that appeared in one of the local dailies yesterday indicated that; “It is with a deep sense of gratitude to say farewell to our beloved Adrian Muteshi, who passed on October 27,” the obituary reads in part. 

According to the announcement, friends and relatives are meeting daily at the United Kenya Club—starting today—to plan his funeral. “Funeral programme will be announced shortly,” it said. 

Muteshi hit the limelight after he sued Ruto in 2010, accusing him of illegally taking his land located in Uasin Gishu after he fled the area following the 2007/8 post-election violence that rocked the region. 

Consequently, the matter was heard and determined in a record three years and in 2013, Justice Rose Ougo ordered Ruto to vacate the farm and pay Sh5 million compensation to the complainant. 

Muteshi had claimed that his workers had been evicted from the farm. In his defence, Ruto told the court that he had legally acquired the farm from a third party, Dorothy Yator, adding that he committed no offence.

 However, the judge found him having fraudulently taken over the lush-green farm. 

“I order the Deputy President to pay Sh5 million to the farmer as compensation.

I conclusively find that Muteshi is the owner of the land,” Justice Ougo said in her judgment, which was widely covered by the media.

“From the evidence before me, it is clear that there were fraudulent activities in the manner the land was sub-divided and sold,” the judge said. Ruto’s lawyer, Katwa Kigen, had vowed to appeal but it is not clear if he ever did.

Fraudulent activities

Speaking to the media outside the court, Muteshi, a long serving civil servant, said he was elated noting that justice had been served.

He said that he fled his farm after ethnic clashes broke out in the area as locals protested over the bungled 2007 presidential election in which then president Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner, sparking the deadly violence that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people.

“I am a happy man since the land in question has been given back to me,” he was quoted by an international news channel as saying.

However, he said that the compensation was not enough considering the losses he had incurred. 

Muteshi leaves behind a widow and five adult children.

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