The Karen Land Grab Saga: A Tale of Greed, Power, and the Struggle for Justice


The Environment and Lands Court has thwarted an alleged land grabbing attempt by barring a businesswoman from accessing the prime land located in Nairobi’s Karen estate.

Justice Oguttu Mboya’s injunction bars Ms Dorcas Joan Kiptoo from interfering by selling, or disposing of the vast land of the late Kanji Naran Patel managed by his son Arvind Kanji Patel.

“That an order of interim injunction to restrain Dorcas Joan Kiptoo and two others either by herself, her servants and or her agents acting on her behalf from entering, remaining and or in any other manner whatsoever from interfering with the plaintiffs (Arvind Patel Kanji) rights over the property pending hearing and or further directions from this court,” directed Justice Mboya in his brief ruling.

“That for the sake of peace and to avert any iota of violence, the orders shall be enforced by the sub-county police commander Karen/ Langata and the OCS Karen Police Station respectively,” said the Judge.

The court also said that the estate of Patel “shall not alienate, dispose of or otherwise part with possession of the suit property pending further orders of the court”.

The Judge issued the order following an application by Arvind who is the administrator of the estate of Kanji Naran Patel.

Arvind told the court that they had had the suit property since 1965 until March 2 this year when Dorcas allegedly invaded the property illegally.

He said the deceased Kanji Naran Patel bought the parcels of land situated in Karen, Nairobi from Henry Albert Moore.

When Kanji died in or about 1995 Arvind was appointed as an administrator of his estate.

The court heard that Dorcas has not adduced any document to lay claim over the suit property.

“My constitutional rights to own and enjoy property are constantly under siege due to the defendant’s encroachment and trespass of my land in Karen,” he said.

According to the court documents, Arvind’s offices were based at the suit property but the alleged encroachment of their property has denied him and his employers access.

He pleaded with the court to intervene and further provide him with police assistance to ensure enforcement of the court order.

“She has no intention to surrender and hand over vacant possession of the suit property that she has illegally invaded and trespassed,” said Arvind.

He told the court that he has suffered loss and damages arising from the alleged demolition of structures, buildings and offices erected in the suit property.

Mr Patel in documents filed in court says Ms Kiptoo has forcefully taken over the property without any proof of ownership.

On March 2, 2024, the judge was told that Kiptoo came with hired goons and AP officers and forcefully entered and trespassed on the property estimated to be 66 acres.

Arvind reported the matter at the Karen Plains Police Station where it was booked under OB Number 06/02/03/2024. Following the report, the OCS moved to the property and chased away by the goons.

“Dorcas together with her hired goons chased away the plaintiff’s security guards, employees, threatened the plaintiff’s tenants, demolished structures and sheds in the property and subsequently started to erect other structures and fenced off the property with poles and barbed wire,” says Kanji in evidence presented to the judge.

Patel further claims while the invasion took place, Administration Police officers were present and did nothing while his multi-billion shilling properties were being vandalised.

He also says Ms Kiptoo did not have any court order permitting her to enter the property.

He fears that the land may be transferred or sold to his detriment since RSS, a private security company, is now manning the property and his employees have no access.

“The plaintiff avers that noteworthy, continued interference with his quiet possession and ownership of the said parcel of land is unconstitutional, unlawful, arbitrary, oppressive and untenable,” reads the application filed last week.

After granting the orders, Justice Mboya directed the respondents in the case to file their responses in five days.

The orders are to be enforced by Lang’ata Sub-County Police Commander or the Officer Commanding Station (OCS) Karen Police Station.

Those listed as respondents are Dorcas Joan Kiptoo, Chief Land Registrar, Director of Surveyor and the Attorney General.

The case will proceed inter-parties on March 18.

Photos from the parcel of land in contention following raid by goons believed to be under instructions of the businesswoman.


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