By PAMELA CHEPKEMEI [email protected]
Posted Wednesday, February 8 2012 at 22:30
Eldoret North MP William Ruto wants to surrender 100 acres of land he is accused of grabbing from an internally displaced person in 2008.
Lawyer Katwa Kigen, representing the MP in a suit filed by Mr Adrian Muteshi (the IDP), told the High Court on Wednesday that Mr Ruto wanted a settlement of the case because the Ministry of Lands had ruled that the title deed was not properly processed.
He added that the MP would like to weigh his options with the likelihood of surrendering the land then pursue the person who sold him the property.
The hearing of the case was deferred on Wednesday to allow the lawyers representing Mr Muteshi and the MP discuss the terms of settlement.
Never sold the land
Mr Muteshi was set to be cross-examined by Mr Kigen, but it was agreed by all parties in the case that other alternative resolutions be pursued. The lawyers in the case agreed to have meetings to discuss the issues.
Lady Justice Rose Ougo gave the parties until March 5 to discuss and come up with a settlement.
Mr Muteshi filed the case in 2010, accusing Mr Ruto of grabbing his 100 acre-land in Turbo, Uasin Gishu District. He told the court that he was the rightful owner of the land having obtained a title deed in 1989.
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The farmer said he had never sold the land to the MP through Ms Dorothy Jemutai Yator who had subdivided it.
He said he had been farming until 1992 when his business was temporarily interrupted by tribal clashes.
He resumed farming after the violence, but he had to abandon the farm after chaos broke out after the 2007 disputed presidential elections.
He said he returned to look after his farm after the turmoil and he was informed that Mr Ruto had taken over the land. His workers had also been kicked out of the farm.
Mr Muteshi said he first acquired the property in the 1960s.
He identified the land in question, measuring 100 acres, in 1968 so that he could buy it.
The land, situated in the Kaptabei Scheme, belonged to a Mr Edmund, a white settler.