By Stephen Muthini
An elderly woman and her daughter-in-law caused drama at Machakos law courts on Friday when they abandoned five children in a courtroom to protest delayed judgment in a land dispute that has dragged for 34 years.
Mbwele Muoki, who had sat quietly with her daughter-in-law and children, suddenly stood up in court to protest as soon as the trial Judge Eric Angote mentioned the next date of hearing.
“You cannot keep on postponing judgment while we continue to suffer. Are you tormenting us because we are widows? We will abandon these children here for the government to take care of them as it does to destitute children,” said Mbwele who addressed the judge from the public benches in Kikamba language.
True to their word, the two women walked out of the courtroom leaving the children behind.
“This is a very old matter. Tell the advocates that once I give a hearing date there should be no further adjournments,” said Justice Angote before leaving the court.
Members of the public who had attended court also dispersed leaving the bewildered children behind.
Their mother and the elderly woman sat outside the courtroom and it was not clear whether they later took up their children.
When Nairobi News later spoke to the women, they said judgment on the case had been delivered on April 5, 2018 but the person who has been occupying their land appealed the judgment.
Mbwele said the 11.3-hectare land located in Kaseve village near Wote town in Makueni sub county was allegedly sold at a cost of Sh29,000 to an influential son of a former chief in 1984 by her stepson, Muli Muoki, who disappeared and has never been seen.
One of her sons , Waviti Muoki was buried at Makueni Cemetery and another, John Muoki was buried at a relative’s home at Malivani village, near the disputed land.
Mbwele who is a widow lives in Tamu Tamu village in Kathonzweni sub county on a land donated by a well-wisher.
The court had ruled that Mbwele is the rightful owner of the land and ordered for the eviction of the unlawful occupant but he moved to court to block the eviction.
In 2009, a certificate of confirmation of grant issued by Justice Isaac Lenaola at Machakos High Court showed that Mbwele Muoki and Denis Muoki were given a grant of representation to the estate of the late Muoki Muasya.
Another ruling delivered in 2010 by the Environment and Land court in Machakos indicated that Mutie Kioko, the defendant purchased the piece of land from strangers and not from the lawful owner, Muoki Muasya the deceased and that he should claim a refund of his money from those who received it.
“In any event, Mutie Kioko has no lawful interests in this estate and he can pursue a refund of his money from those that illegally received it,” reads the ruling delivered by Justice Angote.
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Publish date : 2019-04-01 10:24:54