DISPUTE: Lady Justice Christine Ochieng also awards the plaintiff the costs of the suit
BY KURGAT MARINDANY
The Environment and Land Court in Kajiado have compelled Nkama Group Ranch officials to register Jeremiah ole Risa as a member.
The court sitting in Kajiado also compelled the group ranch to issue Risa with land like any other member within 120 days from May 29.
Presiding over the case, Lady Justice Christine Ochieng also awarded the plaintiff the costs of the suit, which will be borne by the group ranch, Kerempu ole Kaata, William ole Kayiaa, and Turere ole Kaata — all being registered officials of the group ranch.
Risa had testified in the case, in which he and three other people had sued the group ranch officials for denying him land yet he was born in Nkama.
“I was born and bred on Nkama but the group ranch officials declined to register me as a member and instead coopted me as an orphan,” Risa shocked the court in Kajiado.
Risa, in his testimony, claimed his father and four brothers were all registered as members of the group ranch and each allocated a share of land.
Further, he told Justice Achieng he had gone abroad for further studies but when he returned in 1983, he found that his name had not been included in the member’s register.
He explained that he had initially lodged a caution in respect of the land belonging to the group ranch and was prevailed upon by the group ranch officials, his children, and elders with a promise that they would allocate him land.
Risa told the judge that once he lifted the caution, the officials of the group ranch proceeded to subdivide and distribute the land but declined to give him the promised share.
He contended that vide a court order in Nairobi HCCC No. 447 of 1994, dated October 1, 2003, the officials of the Nkama Group Ranch had been directed to register him and others as members but they declined to do so.
He stated that the group ranch only registered his siblings — Nkoret ole Murag, Toimas, and Surupay after the High Court in Nairobi made an order.
Risa produced various documents including the Nkama Group Ranch members register dated August 13, 1981; Nkama Group Ranch Register GR1/14; a letter dated January 24, 1996; consent dated October 1, 2003; court order dated October 28, 2003; demand letter dated December 7, 2006; and a letter dated March 12, 2007, addressed to Nkama Group Ranch.
“I find that Nkama Group Ranch failed to explain why it had declined to register Risa as a full member since he qualified to be one as per Article 63 of the Constitution,” said Justice Ochieng in her observation.
“I note there was already existence of the aforementioned Consent Order in HCCC No. 447 of 1994 directing the registration of the Plaintiff which to date the 1st Defendant (Nkama Group Ranch) has failed to effect,” said Justice Ochieng.
“In the circumstance, I find that the Plaintiff’s claim is merited and will direct the 1st Defendant to register him as its full member and give him an equal share of land,” she ruled.