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Solomon Muathe Mitau & 787 others v. Nguni Group Ranch

(2017) JELR 94262 (CA)

Court of Appeal  •  Civil Appeal 102 of 2014  •  3 Mar 2017  •  Kenya

Coram
Philip Nyamu Waki, Paul Kihara Kariuki, Patrick Omwenga Kiage

Judgement

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

Introduction

1. This is yet another claim of ownership of land through the doctrine of “adverse possession”. The claimants in this case, however, conflate the doctrine with “prescription” which they pleaded and cited the Limitation of Actions Act, Cap 22, Laws of Kenya, as the legal basis. There is a difference between the two. In the case of Benina Ndungwa Kinyumu and 4 Others v. National Land Commission [2015] eKLR, Angote, J. explained the distinction between the two, correctly in our view, in the following manner: “18. There is a difference between acquiring a title to land by way of adverse possession and prescription. Of course, it has been said that the similarities between the doctrine of adverse possession and prescriptive easements far outweigh the differences because both result from the operation of the statute of limitation for trespass.

19. The difference between the two doctrines lie primarily in determining what is accomplished. With adverse possessi…

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