Machakos-based Environment and Land Court has ordered police to arrest Governor Alfred Mutua for disobeying an earlier order to pay a man Sh5.6 million after the county government trespassed on his land.
“Whereas the governor, county government of Machakos was adjudged by a decree of this court in the above-mentioned case dated 30th day of July, 2020 to pay the decree order the sum of Sh5, 590, 443.15; these are to command you to arrest the said governor,” said Magistrate Charles Ondieki in the order dated September 1, 2021.
The magistrate order Machakos Police Station OCS to take the governor to court “with all the convenient speed”.
“You are further commanded to return this warrant as soon as it is executed or the money noted in the margin is tendered to you with an endorsement certifying the day on which and manner in which it has been executed, or the reason it has not been executed,” the order further reads.
The order was a culmination of a case pitting Mr. David Gitau Thairu against Dr. Mutua’s administration.
In 2013, Mr. Gitau had gone to court accusing Dr. Mutua’s administration of trespassing on his land. He told the court that the county government had dumped heaps of cotton soil and dug trenches on the land and that as a result, he was unable to build a hotel on the land.
But the county government told the court that it had only dumped soil on the plot while constructing a road and a sewerage system through the region. It, however, offered to remove the soil and compensate Mr Gitau. But Mr Gitau had disagreed with the terms offered by the county government and instead asked for exemplary damages. The county government lost the case on July 30, 2020.
The Land court declared the trespass on Mr. Thairu’s land unconstitutional, illegal and a breach of his constitutional rights. In addition to the Sh5 million in exemplary damages that Judge J Angote ordered Dr. Mutua to pay Mr. Thairu, the court also barred the governor and his administration from trespassing and dumping waste on the land. The court ordered Dr. Mutua to restore the land by removing the heaps of soil.
Thirteen months later, the county government has not made a move, to the chagrin of Mr Thairu. His lawyer, Lawrence Nyagito, welcomed the move by Mr. Ondiek as an indication that justice was on the way.
“My client has somehow secured justice from the court. The court has indeed demonstrated that justice applies to everyone without any fear and intimidation,” he said.