Retired former president Daniel Arap finally lost a court battle in ‘independent’ Kenya. Even more egregious, the battle was over land, a commodity which the faded former strongman dished out during his reign with abandon. Sometimes, the Supreme Court works.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court today ended the decade old court drama, upholding an appellate court ruling that Moi had indeed grabbed the Mzungu’s land.
The Appellate court had told Moi to vacate the land or face eviction to which Moi moved to the Supreme Court. At the highest court, Mzee argued that because of Kabarak High School (private business), enforcing the order by the appellate court would constitute a serious miscarriage of justice as the existed huge public interest of the school – used by many! The Supreme Court judges disagreed.
â€œThe jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may not be invoked just merely for appeals but in matters that raise serious constitutional violations. It is our view that this matter was well settled and does not qualify to be entertained before us,â€ said the judges.
â€œIt was an error in the first place for the Court of Appeal to grant them the certificate to appeal at the Supreme Court since the dispute does not raise any substantive constitutional violation,â€ ruled the judges.
The ruling puts at risk the existence of Kabarak High School which is built on the disputed land in the event that the owner, Mr Bell, goes ahead to evict them.
Mr Bell, son to Ginger Bell, whom Moi grabbed the land from in the 1980’s waited till the former president was out of power, then took him to court in 2003 with the ruthless thwacking of KANU by NARC. It would take 10 years for the case to finally come to an end.