In a groundbreaking ruling, the Environment and Lands Court has awarded Mr. Davis Dzuya, a caretaker who sought adverse possession of land from his estranged employer, a compensation of Sh3 million.
Justice Lucas Naikuni presided over the case and ordered Mr. Salim Anjarwalla, the former employer, to pay the amount as recognition for Mr. Dzuya’s dedicated service to the Anjarwalla family over a period of more than thirty years.
While acknowledging that Davis Dzuya was not entitled to the suit land through adverse possession, the judge emphasized that the payment of Sh3 million should be made before Dzuya vacates the property in Shanzu, Mombasa County. Dzuya had served as a caretaker on the land for a period of 32 years.
Justice Naikuni recognized that throughout the three decades of Dzuya’s employment with the Anjarwallas, he displayed unwavering dedication and commitment to his role.
The court further ruled that as a result of his loyalty and hard work, Mr Dzuya should not be left destitute or homeless.
Despite dismissing Dzuya’s application and issuing an order for his eviction from his employer’s land within 90 days, the judge ruled that the plaintiff should receive the awarded amount to secure a decent and habitable settlement.
The court recognized the importance of providing Mr. Dzuya with the means to establish a suitable living arrangement, considering his dedicated service over the years.
“To avoid the first plaintiff herein and his family becoming destitute and homeless, based on humanitarian consideration on gratia basis and the right to housing and settlement as provided for under Article 43 of the Constitution, I urge the defendant to consider awarding the first plaintiff a sum of Sh3 million,” read the ruling.
The awarded amount of Sh3 million, when calculated, equates to an approximate sum of Sh8,000 per month for the duration of Dzuya’s occupancy of the disputed land.
In 2019, Dzuya, together with his colleague Mr. Bakari Musa, filed the suit against Mr. Salim, the legal representative of the estate of his late father, Hussein Karimbhai Anjarwalla.
In their application, Dzuya and Musa asserted that Mr. Anjarwalla’s claim to the 2.2 acres of contested land had been invalidated. They wanted to be registered as the rightful owners of the disputed property and to be issued the title certificates with their names without gazettement.
In their claim for adverse possession, Dzuya argued that he had maintained uninterrupted residence on the disputed parcel for a period exceeding 12 years. This argument formed the basis of his assertion of ownership rights over the land.