Inside Buru Buru land that landed Sonko in court
Former Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko was on February 2 charged in Kiambu Law courts with various counts of assault and forcible entry to property in Buruburu Phase Four.
The property in question is a subject to a civil suit at Milimani high court where a widow of a bishop and a businessman are fighting over it.
The former governor woes started after he went to the property on May 25, 2019 after chaos erupted at a church in the said land.
A pastor of the church who was at the scene had claimed that youths who had allegedly been hired by a private developer stormed the church compound armed with machetes, pangas and other crude weapons with an aim of bringing down any structure within the church compound.
The former governor went to stop the eviction but found Kinderstart Primary School, which also sat on the same piece of land, had completely been brought down.
Speaking to the media thereafter, Sonko labeled the incident as an attempted land grabbing by a ‘known land grabber’ working secretly with police officers to defraud widows and unsuspecting citizens.
“This is a heinous act. Where on earth can one demolish a church and grab land? We cannot allow this to happen in Nairobi. We must respect human beings regardless of their status whether rich or poor,” Sonko had said.
Businessman Patrick Macharia Nderitu, who is at the center of the dispute, claimed the land is his having bought it from Glad Tidings and its trustees Ms Christine Apiko, Esther Mueni, Fred Agwa and Edward Otieno.
He claimed that he purchased the property in 2018 for Sh19.5 million through the trustees although Ms Mueni later denied the sale.
However, Mary Akinyi Ochola, who is the widow of Bishop James Ochola the proprietor of the said land, claimed she never sold the land to anyone and it belongs to the Glad Tiding Crusade Ministry.
"I am not ready to sell the property to anybody even those who come with millions or billions of shillings including Nderitu. The parcel of land is for the church and will remain that way,” she had said in 2019 after the court set aside orders allowing the businessman from talking over the disputed land.
Two people, the daughter of the late bishop James Ocholla together with her husband, were charged with forgery and conspiracy to defraud the said church sh 3 million.
Christine Anyango Ocholla and Edward Opiko Otieno were charged at Makadara court with seven counts of forgery and conspiracy to defraud Sh3 million for renovation of Glad Tidings Crusade church in Buruburu.
In the Kiambu case, the prosecution claims that Sonko and others not before the court, committed the offences when he made a violent entry into the said property in Buruburu Phase 4 in May, 2019.
During the incident, the flamboyant politician and the others, are accused of assaulting nine individuals whom they found at the said property.