Former MP gets reprieve in city house ownership dispute

by Wakili Liam

Wanyiri Kihoro, the former Member of Parliament for Nyeri Town has got a reprieve in the ownership dispute over a prime property in Nairobi which he claims was purchased by his deceased wife Wanjiru Kihoro 17 years ago.

The Environment and Lands Court set aside a judgement which had bestowed ownership of the property situated along Kayahwe Road, to the estate of the late Ranjeet Singh Syan.

Mr Kihoro claims that Mr Syan, who died in 2004, had sold the land to his wife.

Justice Bernard Eboso ordered for setting aside of the judgment dated March 5, 2020 following a finding that Mr Kihoro did not participate in the hearing of the case as he was not aware of the dates of proceedings.

Hence, the judge ordered for a fresh interparties hearing of the dispute so that Mr Kihoro is given the opportunity to lead evidence in support of his defence and counter-claim.

However, he will not return to the suit property as he had been evicted pursuant to a court decree dated March 9, 2020.

Court documents indicate that in April 2001, Mr Syan together with Mr Sanatkumar Shantilal Trivedi entered into a tenancy agreement with the late Dr Wanjiru Kihoro, leasing the suit property to her for two years, effective from April 1, 2001.

The tenancy lapsed on April 1, 2003 and was never formally renewed.

Following the demise of Dr Kihoro, the former MP continued to reside in the suit property without entering into a formal arrangement with the proprietors.

They contended that Mr Kihoro lived in the suit property as a trespasser and that at the time of moving to court in 2008, he had stayed without paying the then monthly rent of Sh40,000 for 19 months, making a total of Sh760,000 in equivalent of rent arrears.

Mr Kihoro in his defence admitted existence of a tenancy agreement and added that it gave his late wife the option to purchase the property.

He said his late wife exercised the option and paid the purchase price of 60,000 British pounds (Sh9,052,720 at current forex exchange rate) to the late Syan who signed a conveyance in favour of Mr Kihoro’s wife.

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