Opposition lawmakers give Karen land dossier to EACC

Senators Johnson Muthama, Boni Khalwale and James Orengo have handed in their dossier on the 134-acre disputed Karen land to EACC investigators and will make the details public on Tuesday.

Khalwale who spoke to journalists after they presented the evidence to the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) said they want thorough investigations to determine the real owner of the land which is valued at Sh8 billion.

“We have handed over those documents and it is important that members of the public be walked through the documents so that they understand exactly what we have given here,” Khalwale stated.

“We shall allow you to ask questions and seek clarifications during a press conference tomorrow.”

Among issues they have asked the commission to focus on include the loss of crucial documents at the Ministry of Lands.

“Undoubtedly you must have noticed that the most important documents kept by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development have gone missing,” reads their letter to the EACC.

“The selective disclosure of the documents by the ministry is designed to enable it fulfil the mission of handing over the land to fraudsters.”

In the letter, they also recommend that the commission identifies the developers and contractors on site, “in the period immediately prior to the issuance of injunctive orders made by the High Court.”

The lawmakers have alleged that senior government officials are involved in the irregular acquisition of the land.

Deputy President William Ruto has already filed a defamation case against Muthama, Orengo, Khalwale, Senator Elizabeth Ongoro and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed.

He is seeking an unspecified amount of money in compensation, an apology and a permanent injunction against the legislators, saying he has been portrayed as a land grabber who is not fit to lead.

The land which is at the centre of a legal battle between businessman Horatious Da Gama Rose and a number of private firms.

On October 19, the five legislators addressed a press conference in which they said they were ready to appear before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to present evidence linking top government officials to the Karen land.

Da Gama Rose is laying claim to the land and his lawyer Cecil Miller obtained orders blocking further development of the land but the occupiers had previously disregarded the directive of the court to keep off the land.

The High Court had in September directed that any development or transactions on the land be halted until the petition filed by Da Gama Rose is heard and determined.

Senator Muthama on his part said the anti-graft body needs to expedite investigations to determine the truth.

“We shall take you through the documents and show you how many titles deeds have been processed and issued illegally,” he said.

The EACC probe was initiated after a request by Lands Minister Charity Ngilu who called for thorough investigations into the matter and action taken against anyone found culpable.

This article was published by CAPITAL FM NEWS on November 10, 2014