Coalition for Reforms and Democracy leaders back Karen land fraud claims

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) senators now allege some of the documents used to claim ownership of the controversial Sh8 billion Karen land are forged.

The senators said they have compiled a dossier to show that fraud and forgery have been committed to aid the 134.4 acres of land grabbing.

Senators Johnson Muthama (Machakos), Siaya's James Orengo and Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) last evening handed in some documents to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission ( EACC) to support their claims.

The lawmakers are facing a defamation suit filed by Deputy President William Ruto for linking him to the land saga.

"We hereby submit all the documents, maps, instruments and other materials we have obtained largely from the public. Evidently, some of them are genuine, lawful and credible while some are part of the forgeries and fake documents used by fraudsters to claim the land," a letter accompanying the documents submitted to EACC read in part.

And although they have stated in the past that the land is public, their documents seemed to support claims by businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose' Muchanga Investments that they are the legitimate land owners.

Part of the documents provided by CORD senators indicate a grant purportedly transferring the land to John Mugo Kamau registered on August 24, 1978 is an exact replica of what is the correct entry which was transferred to Muchanga Investments.

"We have enclosed subdivision plans done by Mr L K Gitau issued in March 2014 bearing LR 3586/202 to 398. The subdivision plans, save for LR numbers, are exactly the same as the subdivision scheme done by Mr S A Harunani, which were abandoned by Muchanga Ltd and the land reverted to its original status," the statement co-signed by the three states.

They told the EACC that Muchanga Investments returned all the 199 deed plans to the director of survey for cancellation and the same were indeed cancelled while on May 10 last year, the National Land Commission confirmed that LR 3586/3 had reverted to its original status.

Yesterday, the senators claimed former Lands commissioner Zablon Mabea, former Director of Survey Ephantus Murage and former chief lands registrar Wambugu Ngatia were removed and transferred from Ardhi house to facilitate the grabbing of the private land.

"To open the door for illegal transactions to take place, the commissioner of lands, director of survey and chief lands registrar were removed and transferred between August 2013 and June 2014," they added.

After presenting their documents, the Opposition leaders said they would today hold a press conference to issue a statement on their dossier.

The three legislators were received by EACC deputy CEO Michael Mubea at the Integrity Centre.

"We have received the documents and we will examine them to see if they have the evidence we are looking for," Mr Mubea said.

The move came only a day before the Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu returns to Parliament to face the lands committee to provide more documents on the same issue.

The matter is also returning to the High Court this morning, where Muchanga Investments' lawyer Cecil Miller is seeking to permanently bar the person who claims to have acquired the property from subdividing, developing or occupying it.

This article was published by THE STANDARD on November 11, 2014