Canada-based woman wins prop­erty bat­tle

Take lease cer­tifi­cate to land reg­is­trar for can­cel­la­tion, court or­ders busi­ness­man at cen­tre of dis­pute

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SUNDAY REVIEW - BY BEN­SON WAM­BUGU ben­

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

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