Rwanda Wins Land Case in Kenya High Court
Rwanda has successfully won a foreign land case after a ruling in Kenya’s High court.
In 1986, the Kenyan government under President Daniel Arap Moi offered Rwanda 32-acres of prime land near Mombasa port. Rwanda also offered 32-acres of land to Kenya in a property exchange deal.
However, Salad Awale a Kenyan businessman based in Mombasa had filed a law suit claiming ownership of the land.
The businessman claimed he acquired the land in 1986 and that was issued with a 99-years leasehold by Kenya’s lands ministry.
Kenyan High Court judge Anyara Emukule has however dismissed the suit arguing that Awaleâ€™s title was not genuine as the details provided on the land differed with those stated on the landâ€™s deed plan.
The judge also found that the Land ministry officer whose name appears on Awaleâ€™s title has disowned the document.
â€œThe officer who allegedly issued Awaleâ€™s title, has denied ever preparing the title,” justice Emukule said in the ruling.
He added thatÂ the documents produced by Awale were, upon cross-checking by the commissioner of land found to be forgeries. “The balance of probability is that the suit property was first allocated to Rwanda.â€
The Kenyan high court has thus ordered Awale only 60 days from May 31 this year to vacate the land.
Sources in Mombasa say that Awale has been using the land for his trucking business and wanted Rwanda restrained from occupying the property.
Landlocked Rwanda was given the land for construction of warehouses to ease cargo handling for its traders using the Mombasa port.
Rwandan traders complain of high costs of warehousing in Mombasa that when a cargo container is not nominated into a warehouse of your choice, then there is a possibility of being ripped off through the ware house charges.
A trader may not receive the requisite free days, during which time, clearing is supposed to be concluded. Hence the need for Rwanda to maintain their own warehouse space to ease the pain of extra costs being loaded unnecessarily on their cargo.
At least 40% of Rwanda’s imports and exports transit through Kenya, and the warehouses are intended to offer Rwandan traders reprieve in terms of storage costs at the port.