The late Adrian Muteshi is perhaps the only man yet to take over Deputy President William Ruto, a move that earned him accolades in bravery.
He accused the Deputy President of grabbing his 100-acre piece of land in Turbo and the legal tussle that ensured helped him get back his land with sh5 million compensation, which he however was yet to be paid, at the time of his death.
Outside the courtroom on one of the hearing dates, Muteshi asked Ruto, “where were you when I bought this land? You were not born yet or maybe you were still in your nappies…” The DP did not respond but he must have come to terms with the reality that the man he was facing was no coward.
Ruto would later admit that he had been conned by one Dorothy Jemutai Yator who sells land in Eldoret.
Ruto was categorical that he was an innocent purchaser for value. That the Ministry of Lands confirmed that, that property was available for sale. What he did was to engage the process of purchasing a property and the Ministry/Department approved the said purchase from the Dorothy and was issued a title deed. He, therefore, distanced himself affirming that the process was not illegal.
Kenyans have often taken to social media to state that Muteshi was displaced by Ruto and he became an Internally Displaced Person (IDP). However, Adrian Gilbert Muteshi lived in Lavington in Nairobi for a long time until his death.
By owning a 100-acre piece of land, he certainly was never a peasant
At the height of his career, he was a human resource professional, having worked in East Africa Airways, Kenya Airways and Safari Park among others
In the early post-independent era, the 100-acre farms were known as special plots, Z-plots. When colonialist farms were subdivided and given to Africans, special plots were the ones in which their houses stood. Only the elites were allocated these like Cabinet ministers and the African elite, mainly top civil servants.
In the year 1992 following tribal clashes in the Turbo West area of the Uasin Gishu District, Adrian’s farm was raided and animals were stolen. He nevertheless remained in the possession of the parcel of land carrying on farming activities albeit on a reduced scale as he remained in fear for the security of his staff on the farm.
The sad state of affairs continued until January 2008 when again after the disputed elections of December 2007 and the Muteshi’s farm was invaded by Kalenjins who turbulently drove away from his dairy cattle, sheep and goats and took over his tractors and farm tools and equipment. The said tribesmen chased away his staff under threats of brutal death.
However, his efforts to regain possession of the property had been thwarted as his workers were threatened with sure deaths should they return to the farm, which incidentally is situated within the Eldoret South Constituency neighboring the Eldoret North Constituency where Ruto had been their Member of Parliament.
He, therefore, kept away from his property, which was then being used by Ruto. He, therefore, claims mesne profits from January 2008 until he is given vacant possession of the property.
The evidence on the court’s record showed that the alleged third party, Dorothy Yator, that sold Muteshi’s land to the DP was a fictitious vendor whose Identification details were stolen and used to forge a sale agreement. The chief land registrar in Eldoret was summoned and testified that documents showing registration of transfer were also a forgery, noting that there was no evidence on their record of the land control board ever authorizing the transfer of the suit land to WSR.
Dorothy Yator herself testified through a sworn statement and supporting affidavit that she never owned the land in question and therefore could not give good title to the land she never had!
Particulars of the land
On 3rd October, 1968 the Commissioners for lands on behalf of the settlement fund trustees allotted to the Gilbert Muteshi parcels of land numbers 33, 34, 35, 36 and P.I in the Kaptabei Scheme which allotment Mureshi duly accepted and made the required payments as required by the Commissioner and the settlement fund trustees.
That the settlement fund trustees charged the said parcel numbers 33, 34,35,36 and P.I. Kaptabei Settlement Scheme was subsequently renamed Tapsagoi Settlement Scheme.
Gilbert Muteshi continued farming activities on the said parcels of land including the production of cereals, sheep and goat raring and dairy farming and continued being in peaceable occupation of the said parcels of land and enjoyed all rights of proprietor of freehold land.
On 17th March, 1989, a Title deed number 33 Tapsagoi was written in Muteshi’s name with the approximate area is 35.00 Hectares or approximately 100 acres.
While Muteshi had insisted that Ruto personally hands over to him the 100 acres, it was eventually agreed that DP and Muteshi each appoint a representative to facilitate the handover.
For Ruto, ending the case was important because it was partly being used to nail him in the then ongoing case at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Originally from Malinya in Ikolomani Constituency, Adrian Gilbert Muteshi would later buy land in Kitale where he settled. He left behind his wife, six children and several grandchildren.