IS­SUES RAISED BY JUDGE

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SUNDAY REVIEW -

The judge noted that there was no ev­i­dence from the Lands min­istry to con­firm that Mrs Car­dozo (be­low) had re­lin­quished her in­ter­est in the land by the time Mr Otachi al­legedly bought the prop­erty.

She crit­i­cised Mr Otachi for fail­ure to pro­duce the trans­fer form to show that in­deed the prop­erty was trans­ferred to him by the Esono cou­ple.

And with­out ev­i­dence of pay­ment for the stamp duty by Mr Otachi, the judged said Mrs Car­dozo had the le­gal right to the prop­erty.

Sh2.3mx Amount which busi­ness­man Robert Kibagendi Otachi says he paid for prop­erty in 1997

has since con­tin­ued pay­ing both the land rent and rates.

On the other hand, Mr Otachi claimed he bought the prop­erty from a cou­ple, Mr Esono Ague­somo and Mrs Tere­sita Esono, in 1997 for Sh2.3 mil­lion. He con­tended he was the duly reg­is­tered owner and had also been pay­ing land rent and rates.

He de­nied sug­ges­tions by Mrs Car­dozo that he ac­quired the land through fraud.

Mr Shahid Wis­sanji, a di­rec­tor of Ma­sai Mara Sopa Lodge Ltd, tes­ti­fied that Mrs Car­dozo had given the power of at­tor­ney to the lodge, which had kept the orig­i­nal ti­tle to the prop­erty. He said Mrs Car­dozo was el­derly and a res­i­dent of Canada.

He told the court that Mrs Car­dozo never trans­ferred the prop­erty to a third party, and that Mr Otachi al­legedly ob­tained the land ti­tle on April 8, 1997, which was 11 years af­ter Mrs Car­dozo had been is­sued with hers.

Dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Mr Wis­sanji de­nied knowl­edge about the sale of the land to Mr Otachi.

Al­though he ad­mit­ted there was no ex­ist­ing struc­ture on the land, Mr Wis­sanji said it re­mained a mys­tery how the prop­erty changed from Mrs Car­dozo’s name to that of Mr Otachi.

Re­spond­ing to the suit, Mr Otachi said in Jan­uary 2008, three peo­ple, a woman and two men, vis­ited the dis­puted land and asked him what he was do­ing on a pri­vate prop­erty.

He said he ex­plained to them that it was his.

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