, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – George Aladwa is set to become the first mayor to occupy the council’s official residence in the plush Lavington suburb for the first time in 10 years, after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) recovered it from the wife of former Lands Minister Noah Katana Ngala.
Speaking as she handed over the property on Tuesday, EACC acting Chief Executive Officer Jane Muthaura said the illegal acquisition of the Sh157 million property that lies on 0.843 acres had forced the government to incur huge expenses over the last 10 years.
“For those 10 years, the Treasury has been paying allowances for another alternative residence and it is a priority to us that this property does not change hands in the future,” she said.
Aladwa said he was ready to occupy the house once renovations are complete.
“We are happy to see this house returned to the City Council. I would like to request the Town Clerk to renovate it so that I can enjoy it even for one month,” Aladwa quipped.
Town Clerk Philip Kisia also described the acquisition as a milestone in the council’s history.
“I am happy that the Ngalas voluntarily said that this is public property (and it should be) returned. They went to court (but later) saw the light,” he said.
Ngala’s wife entered into an agreement with the government to hand back the house to the City Council of Nairobi through the EACC. She paid Sh2 million as rent arrears.
Ngala and his wife faced criminal charges at the magistrate’s court over the acquisition of the house. The former minister had been accused of making false representations that he owned the property.
He allegedly transferred the house to his wife between February 1993 and June 2002.
At the same time, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko gave notice to those who have acquired public land unlawfully to surrender it or face the full force of the law.
“It doesn’t pay to illegally or corruptly acquire public property. You may do so for a while but in the long run you lose it and the cost of that includes the risk of prosecution and if you are found guilty, conviction,” he said.