Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu
By Winnie Kabintie
The parliamentary departmental committee on lands has threatened lands cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu with impeachment if she continues ignoring summons from the committee.
Ngilu is accused of absconding a recent sermon and failing to furnish the committee with records on the ownership of the controversial 100 hectare piece of land in Karen just a week after she asked for more time to do so.
“We are smelling more than it meets the eye. Kuna mambo hapa yanafichwafichwa na tumekasirika sana/ there is something fishy going on here and we are very annoyed. Said Moses ole Sakuda, MP for Kajiado North Constituency.
On her defense Ngilu says she had submitted an apology stating her unavailability as she was attending another meeting with the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, but the lands committee would hear none of it and has given Ngilu three weeks to report back on the progress made.
“Failure to do so we might actually take this matter to the floor of the house and look for possible ways that might even lead to her impeachment.” Sakuda said.
This will be the second time in less than a year the Cabinet Secretary is facing censure, after an impeachment motion was tabled in parliament in August owing to irregular transfers and the sacking of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) managing director Wachira Njuguna.
However, Eldas MP Adan Keynan, who had authored the motion withdrew it under unclear circumstances even after he had more than 100 members appending their signatures in support.
CORD LEADERS RELEASE DOSSIER ON THE CONTROVERSIAL SH 8 BILLION KAREN LAND
Cord leaders yesterday said public and state officers assisted a group of land-grabbers to move into and subdivide the controversial 134-acre Karen property valued at Sh8 billion.
“It was difficult for the schemers of the land-grab to implement the transactions without the participation of both state and public officers at the highest level. It is also instructive that the intensive and massive invasion and construction took place during the period the president was away,” reads the cover letter accompanying the dossier handed to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
The commission had requested Senators Johnston Muthama, James Orengo and other leaders to bring forward whatever information they have on grabbers of the disputed land to help in the investigations, after claims that top government officials, including Deputy President William Ruto, Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero are linked to the land tussle.
EACC deputy CEO Michael Mubea acknowledged that he had received the dossier.
The ownership of the prime land in Karen, which is being contested by two Nairobi businessmen (Former National Social Security Fund boss Jos Konzolo who is now the director of Telesource Ltd and Horatius Da Gama Rose of Muchanga Investment Ltd) is yet to be established.
The saga, which has sucked in a number of politicians as well is now an issue before the courts and last week, police officers were deployed to the disputed land where they evicted developers pending the determination of the case.
In another twist of events, yesterday the widow of a former provincial commissioner laid claim to the piece of land alleging that it belonged to the husband and that he has never transferred it to anyone.
Da Gama Rose had through his company instigated the lawsuit on the land on claims that unknown companies had grabbed his farm and were subdividing it.
Barclays bank Kenya has also been enjoined in the suit, after lady justice Lucy Nyambura Gacheru allowed an application by Muchanga to join the bank in the proceedings.
The company’s lawyer Ceil Miler argued that the bank was the executor of the will of Arnold Bradley, who originally owned the land and later transferred it to Muchanga at Sh 1.2 million and was therefore a crucial party in the suit.
Since independence, land issues continues to be the key source of conflicts in Kenya and from the look of things, the matter seems to be far from over.