Colonial Chief Wang’ombe’s loses claim on prime land

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Late Chief Nderi Wang’ombe

The family of colonial Chief Nderi Wang’ombe has lost court battle against government on the land where Nyeri Provincial Hospital sits.

High Court Judge Lucy Nyambura declared that Wang’ombe’s family did not prove its case against state thus not entitled to compensation. She said they willingly gave away the land for public use.

“There was no forcible taking over of any land belonging to the Chief or his family. What happened in the circumstances of this case is that the Chief’s family donated 8.3 acres from their undisclosed parcel of land to the first respondent (AG),” judge stated.

She noted that the family took 40 years to lay a claim with the first claim being 8.3 acres they had given away and why the Government had not honored its promise to place a plaque in memory of the deceased   in the hospital.

Wang’ombe’s family wanted Sh229 million for the nine acres of land or be allocated a similar portion of land within Nyeri. He had 28 wives.

Nyeri Provincial Hospital

They claim government though provincial medical officer, in 1955 pleaded with Chief to donate part of their 17.3 acres of land for expansion of the hospital.

It was claimed that government would then install a bronze plaque in one of the wards as a token of appreciation. Four years later, in 1959, government allegedly took the remaining 9 acres, family claim this was done illegally.

It then promised to look for alternative land within Nyeri to compensate the Chief’s family which promise never materialised.

Family claims that on April 3, 2013, AG wrote to them with a Sh54 million offer but the family did not get anything. The petition was challenged on the grounds that the hospital had been in the contested property even before 1959.

AG argued that there was no evidence or official record to show that the suit land was compulsorily acquired from the petitioners either as alleged. Justice Nyambura ruled that the negotiations were illegal as family did not produce documents to show that the land initially belonged to them.

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