Canada-based woman wins property battle
Take lease certificate to land registrar for cancellation, court orders businessman at centre of dispute
Justice delivered after nearly a decade
After nearly a decade, justice has finally been delivered in a case where a Canada-based woman lost a prime piece of land in Loresho, Nairobi, through fraud.
Mrs Maria Rosita Cardozo has recovered the property after the Environment and Land Court found she and her husband, Victor Antony Cardozo, who died in August 2004, were victims of land cartels out to defraud legitimate owners of their properties.
Mr Robert Kibagendi Otachi, a businessman who recently lost the race for the Embakasi South parliamentary seat, is said to be the man behind the fraudulent acquisition of the property.
The court heard that he colluded with some officials of the Lands ministry and forged documents, including the title deed, to claim ownership of the multimillion-shilling property located near the Lions Eye Clinic.
Justice Lucy Gacheru ordered Mr Otachi to take the lease certificate, which was improperly issued to him, to the land registrar for cancellation.
She also ordered the land title for Nairobi/block 90/235 reverts to Mrs Cardozo, who now owns the property following the death of her husband.
She was harassed
In her testimony, Mrs Cardozo said in 2007, she went to view her vacant property, only to discover that it was fenced with barbed wire. She said she was harassed by some individuals who claimed ownership of the land.
This prompted her to carry out a search in April 2008 at the Lands Office, where she established that the property was registered in the name of Mr Otachi and placed a caveat on the title.
Mrs Cardozo enjoys a leasehold interest on the land for 99 years from January 1, 1978.
In her relentless bid to recover the property, she moved to court through her appointed agent, Masai Mara Sopa Lodge. She lodged a complaint against Mr Otachi and the Attorney-general, on behalf of the Lands ministry.
She told the court that she acquired the property on April 29, 1986, after which she was issued with a lease certificate and