• A Busia Court has temporarily barred 22 businessmen from taking over a piece of land belonging to an airstrip, following a petition by activist Okiya Omtatah.

    Presiding over the case on Wednesday, October 13, Justice Anne Omollo rule that the petition filed by Omtatah had a high chance of winning. 

    The Judge issued orders temporarily barring the 22 businessmen from accessing or conducting any activities on the land, until the case is heard and determined. 

    “From the foregoing analysis, I reach a finding that the application is merited. I proceed to grant the orders as prayed,” the judge ruled.

    An undated photo of the Busia high court.
    An undated photo of the Busia high court.

    In her ruling, the Judge further restrained all the respondents and their workers from occupying the land, causing any damage to it, cultivating in it or transferring it to anyone. 

    In his petition, Omtatah had appealed to the Court to stop the acquisition of the land by the businessmen. 

    The activist argued that the takeover of the land by the businessmen was unconstitutional, and reflected how the rights of Kenyans have been compromised. 

    Omtatah futher urged the court to dispose off the question of the rightful owner, claiming it would help the court by giving descriptive history. 

    “That it is overriding and overwhelming interests of justice that it’s disposed to determine whether or not Busia Airstrip land is a public property,” an excerpt from the petition reads. 

    The activist was backed by the Busia County Government, which said that the respondents did not take any legal procedures when acquiring the land. 

    The county government maintained that the respondents had selfish interests in the acquisition, and cannot overrule the public interests.

    Okiya Omatatah is a human rights activist who has won many cases in court. 

    An undated photo of activist Okiya Omtatah during a past court session.
    An undated photo of activist Okiya Omtatah during a past court session.
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