About the School
Naka Primary School is in Naka area of Nakuru County. The school has a population of over 350 children. Currently the primary school has been forced to sit on the Early Childhood Development section which is on 0.95acres, leading to the school being cramped with no space for play and sports.
History of the School Land Case – Block 23/108
The tussle on the school land issue has been ongoing for over two decades. Ten acres in Nakuru municipality block 23/108 was set aside for public school land in 1985. One decade later, Hyrax Developers illegally acquired the 10 acres reserved for public school. The matter was referred to court on the ownership of the land. While the Judge noted that the title was acquired fraudulently, the court ruled in favor of Hyrax Developers as being the owners of the said land. The matter was appealed and later mysteriously withdrawn without knowledge of the school. In the appeal period the land was sold the land to Ense Ltd. In November 2015, ShuleYangu Alliance successfully petitioned the National Land Commission to revoke the earlier title and ownership reverted. However later, following the court decision that challenged the Review of Grants by NLC in 2015, the revocation of the title was repealed.
On May 19 2016, the community knocked down the wall trespassing the school that had been erected by the developer.
Naka head-teacher Francis Mwangi, activist Boniface Mwangi, Nakuru based journalist Elijah Kinyanjui, former Nakuru County Assembly Member Moses Gichangi and Nakuru Area MP Hon David Gikaria were sued by Ense Ltd and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in a criminal case (Nakuru-760/19/5/2016) C.M.Cr.C1841/2016; and also a civil suit No. 181 of 2016 which has been dormant. A petition was later placed before The Departmental Committee on Lands of the Eleventh Parliament during its fifth session in the year 2017.
The report was finalized and tabled in Parliament with key recommendations which include:
- That the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Director of Criminal Investigation and Director of Public Prosecution undertake an audit and prosecute those found in the fraudulent transaction of the said parcel of land;
- That the Petitioner together with the National Lands Commission appeal the ruling of the High Court Civil Case no. 348 of 1999 on the contestation of the said parcel of land, which [the Parliamentary Committee] are of the view was not properly canvassed.
Status on the Criminal Case
On 24th January 2018, the ODPP placed an application to the court on the withdrawal of the criminal case in response to the recommendations of the 2017 Parliamentary Report. However, the private counsel of Ense Ltd (complainant) placed an application to the court for locus standi to enable him present the views of his client before the court makes a determination on the application for withdrawal.
On 30th January 2018, the court through Chief magistrate Ms. Gicheha, granted the application of locus standi to the private counsel. In her ruling she cited that the Victim’s Protection Act (2014) has been progressive in protecting the rights of victims and expanded the role of their representation in court.
The hearing for the private counsel’s arguments has been scheduled for 7th March 2018 at 9am at the Nakuru Law Courts. An application for the absence of the “accused” was requested by the legal counsel for the defendants but was denied on grounds that the reasons given were not weighty.